Feb. 18, 2011
Site: San Diego, Calif. (SDSU Softball Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 11, UC-Davis 4
Records: NU (4-2), UC-Davis (2-4)
Next NU Event: Feb. 18, 2011 -- vs. San Diego State (San Diego Classic), 9 p.m. CT
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Northwestern bookended rallies on UC Davis Friday morning at the San Diego Classic, hanging six runs on the Aggies in the first, four in the seventh and collecting 16 hits throughout the game to cruise to an 11-4 victory. Sophomore Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led the way with an NU-record five base hits in the game during a 5-for-5 day.
Northwestern now is 4-2 on the season with its win while UC Davis falls to 2-4 with its loss. The Wildcats' 16 hits were their most in a game since rapping out 17 against Stanford on March 3, 2007.
Northwestern wasted little time putting numbers on the board, sending 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first. Allard singled on the first pitch of the game before stealing second on the second. An infield single deep in the hole at short from Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) resulted in an Allard out after the play ended up at third. Scharkey then stole second and Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) drew a walk.
Michelle Batts started driving in runners with a single into left that baffled the fielder to also result in an error. Both Scharkey and Monka came in to score for a 2-0 NU lead, leaving Batts at second base. The UC Davis starter hit Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) with a pitch, then Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) golfed a double to the wall in center to score two more for NU and make it 4-0.
A subsequent walk to Paige Tonz
(Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) chased Aggie starter Jessica Thweatt (2-2) from the circle in favor of Alexandra Holmes, whose first pitch was declared illegal to push the 'Cats up a bag. NU starting pitcher Meghan Lamberth
(Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) then crushed a double of her own to the wall in right center to drive in two and give the Wildcats a 6-0 cushion. Lamberth -- who jumped into the lineup from the flex position to bat for Jordan Wheeler
(Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) at that spot -- ceded second base back to Wheeler, who was thrown out at the plate later on to end the inning following Allard's second base hit of the frame.
UC Davis battled back immediately, dinking a pair of hits over the right side of the infield and combining them with a Northwestern error to plate one and make it a 6-1 game going into the second.
Both pitchers settled down following the first inning. In the top of the fourth, Allard notched her third hit of the game, eventually making it to third before the frame ended with no runs for the Wildcats. In the bottom of the fourth, a leadoff Aggie walk followed by a double and a single cut NU's original lead in half, 6-3.
Northwestern put together a two-out rally in the fifth when Majam ripped a single into right and Tonz walked, but no scoring came of the chance. The Aggies, however, continued to chip away at the lead, getting a solo shot with one out in the fifth to make it a 6-4 game. That knock chased Lamberth from the circle in favor of Jessica Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon), who fanned the next two batters to end the inning.
With UC Davis now as close as it had been all game, NU went to work at the plate in the sixth. Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) ripped a leadoff single before stealing second. Allard then notched her fourth hit of the game, but the throw over to first on the play was semi-wild, leading Thompson to try unsuccessfully to score. Now with one out in the frame, Scharkey walked to push Allard to second before Monka was hit by a pitch to load the bags.
Batts worked a full-count walk to force Allard across, then pinch runners Lauren Ackerman (St. Louis, Mo./Home schooled) and Amanda Mehrsheikh (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) took over on the bases for Monka and Batts, respectively, but the next two batters were retired to end the inning with NU up 7-4.
Northwestern added more insurance in the top of the seventh. Tonz hit a texas-leaguer single just in front of a diving centerfielder before moving to second on a one-out bunt single by Thompson. Allard's school-record fifth hit of the game loaded the bases, then a walk to Scharkey forced Tonz home to make the score 8-4.
Monka then drove a single into center to score both Thompson and Allard before a Batts RBI groundout pushed NU's lead to seven, 11-4, before the frame ended.
Lamberth (4-0) earned the win, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with one walk and a strikeout. Smith picked up her second save of the season with 2.2 scoreless innings of work, fanning a trio and walking one.
Allard led the way with her program-best five hits while Monka, Majam and Thompson each added two. Allard, Scharkey and Tonz scored twice. Batts knocked in three runs while Majam, Lamberth and Monka drove in two.
Northwestern returns to action at 9 p.m. CT tonight, Friday, Feb. 18, against San Diego State, though weather likely will change those plans. Stay tuned to NUsports.com for any rain-related changes.
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