Feb. 22, 2014
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Northwestern used two monster innings to defeat LIU Brooklyn Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, plating six runs in the second and eight in the fourth of a 14-1 (5) run-rule victory.
Northwestern's record on the year stands at 10-3 with the victory while LIU Brooklyn falls to 4-8 overall with its loss. The two teams will meet again in two weeks at the Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla.
Northwestern's two huge innings marked the eighth and ninth times of the year through 13 games in which it scored five or more runs in a single inning. NU has reached double digit runs six times already in 2014.
Northwestern stranded a pair of runners in a top of the first that was highlighted by a Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) double. Then, in the bottom of the frame, LIU Brooklyn took the first lead on a wild pitch from NU starter Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja). The inning continued with a single up the middle, but centerfielder Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) charged and fired home to nail a runner trying to score to end the frame with just one Blackbird run across.
Northwestern rallied right back into a big lead in the top half of the second, plating six runs after sending 11 batters to the plate.
The second began with a one-out Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) single and a Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) walk. Both runners moved up on a passed ball, then Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and Allard banged RBI singles through the infield to give NU a 2-1 lead.
Two errors later in the inning combined with an Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) RBI single and an Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) sacrifice fly made it a 6-1 game before the final out was recorded. Midway through that frame, LIU Brooklyn lifted its starting pitcher.
The Blackbirds attempted a comeback in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases against Albanese before the senior came back with two strikeouts late in the inning to keep LIU Brooklyn scoreless after NU's big inning.
NU rallied again in the top of the fourth. Majam and Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) both drew leadoff walks before DiPrima smashed a pitch to right field, where the LIU Brooklyn fielder sprinted back and leapt to make an incredible catch. Majam was able to tag on the play and move to third. Later, with two outs, Filler hit a ball even deeper to right that the fielder again got back on and caught one step before crashing through the temporary barrier to end the inning with no NU runs across.
The Wildcats pushed the game into run-rule territory in the fifth. LeBeau began the frame with a pure hustle double on a floating fly ball that landed just inside the left-field foul line. She moved to third on a Kuhn groundout, then, after Tonz walked, came home on an Allard single. Majam followed with a two-run single to right that made it a 9-1 game.
Not content to sit on the eight-run cushion, DiPrima doubled in a run, Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) knocked in two with a single, then Filler jacked the first home run of her Northwestern career to dead center to make it a 14-1 game.
Albanese closed the game out in the bottom of the fifth. She picked up the win to move to 3-1 on the year, scattering eight hits and two walks while giving up just one run with five strikeouts.
Majam had a day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs. Allard was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, Filler drove in three, DiPrima had two hits and two RBIs, LeBeau had two hits and scored twice, and Bast scored two runs.
Northwestern returns to action at 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 23, against No. 15 Baylor on getaway day at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
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