Feb. 22, 2013
Site: Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Wrigley Field)
Score: Northwestern 3, Georgia Tech 2
Records: NU (4-6), Georgia Tech (8-4)
Next NU Event: Friday, Feb. 22 -- vs. No. 4 Tennessee (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic), Immediately
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Georgia Tech scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning Friday to break a scoreless pitcher's duel, but Northwestern answered back with three of its own in the bottom half for a walk-off, 3-2 win over the Ramblin' Wreck to open NU's 2013 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
NU now is 4-6 overall on the season with its victory (4-1 in its last five games) while Georgia Tech is 8-4 on the year with its loss.
Both starting pitchers in the game, senior Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) for Northwestern and senior Hope Rush for Georgia Tech, worked around a couple of base runners in the early innings without a serious threat presented by either opposing offense.
In the bottom of the third, junior Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) ripped a two-out ball deep into the hole at short that took a wicked hop up and off of the shoulder of the fielder, bounding away and all the way to the fence in left for a triple, but Majam would be stranded there one batter later.
Majam's triple gave Northwestern eight already on the year, matching the Wildcats' season total from all of 2012 in just 10 games of 2013.
Georgia Tech led off the top of the fourth with a double, but Lamberth was able to escape the jam with an infield pop up, a comebacker that she tossed to third to erase the lead runner and a strikeout to keep the game scoreless.
Northwestern then strung together two-out hits in the bottom half of the frame courtesy of Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and Lamberth, but again the rally succumbed to the majesty of the pitcher's duel.
In the top of the sixth, Georgia Tech's Rush led off with a single and was replaced by a pinch runner. After a successful sacrifice, Lamberth was careful with the subsequent batter who earlier in the game had doubled, issuing a full-count walk with first base open. Lamberth then got a harmless pop up to Aubrie May (La Mesa, Calif./Grossmont) at second base and an inning-ending strikeout.
In the bottom of the sixth, Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) ripped a one-out single up the middle and gave way to pinch runner Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana) at first before Georgia Tech retired the next two Wildcats to the plate.
In the top of the seventh, the game turned on its first error. Georgia Tech's leadoff batter reached on an NU miscue, then was sacrificed to second. The next batter hit a little liner to right that just glanced off May's glove for a single to put runners at the corners. A sacrifice fly then brought in the first run of the contest before a two-out single made it a 2-0 Yellow Jacket lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, junior Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) lead off with a hard-fought, full count pinch hit walk. Then Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) shot a double into left-center that was just out of the reach of a diving center fielder to put runners at second and third with no outs. Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) then bounced a ball to short that was kicked for an error, allowing Albanese to score the game's first run.
After Scharkey stole second to put the winning run in scoring position, Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) blooped a single into center that easily scored Duehr, and when the throw on the trail runner Scharkey nearly sailed over the backstop, NU had a party at the plate with the victory.
Lamberth (2-2) earned the victory, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and four walks with two strikeouts in the complete-game effort.
Majam had a two-hit day for Northwestern at the plate with a triple and a single while Bast had the two winning RBIs.
Northwestern returns to action immediately at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic against No. 4 Tennessee.
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