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    Defense the Difference in 4-0 NU Loss to No. 15 Baylor

    Feb. 23, 2014

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    Northwestern No. 15 Baylor 4, Northwestern 0
    Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic • Cathedral City, Calif. • Big League Dreams Yankee Field

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    CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Defense was the difference Sunday on getaway day at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic when No. 15 Baylor scored three unearned runs on three errors in the second inning while playing terrific defense itself to defeat Northwestern, 4-0.

    Baylor moves to 12-3 on the season with its win while Northwestern concludes the Nutter Classic with a 3-2 mark in the desert for a 10-4 record overall on the season after its loss.

    Baylor got runners to second and third with one out in the top of the first after a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch. Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) fanned the next two batters on nasty pitches to strand those Bears on base.

    Northwestern also put together a scoreless rally in its half of the first, loading the bases on a Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) one-out single, a Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) hit by pitch and a two-out Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) walk before Baylor's sixth-year senior starter Whitney Canion got a strikeout to end the frame.

    In the top of the second, three two-out Northwestern errors contributed to three Baylor runs scoring without the benefit of a hit. The Wildcats got a Majam leadoff single in the bottom of the third, but Bast crushed a line drive that the shortstop caught before doubling off Majam, who had no chance on the play.

    Baylor picked up its first two hits of the game in the top of the fourth, adding another run in the process. To start the fifth, sophomore Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) entered the circle in relief of Letourneau. Wood surrendered a leadoff walk but got two strikeouts and then Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) threw the runner out trying to take third on a wild pitch to end the fifth.

    The Bears continued to use strong defense to stymie NU offensive bids. Tonz continued her red-hot Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a one-out single in the fifth, then gave way to pinch runner Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley). The Bears, who had been playing NU's slappers incredibly close to the foul line with all four fielders, had their second baseman stay very near the bag in this situation, and that's where Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) ripped a ball that 99 percent of the time goes up the middle for a single, but instead this time it resulted in an out that shut down the rally.

    The Bears defense didn't let up in the sixth, using an inning-ending double play to once against put down a Wildcats surge and that was where the game ended.

    Letourneau (2-1) took the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Wood was solid in relief, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

    Majam led NU at the plate with two base hits while LeBeau had a single and a steal.

    Northwestern returns to action next week at the Louisville Slugger Invitational co-hosted by Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State.

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