Feb. 24, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- No. 12 Northwestern took advantage of a trio of Massachusetts errors Friday afternoon at the NFCA Leadoff Classic to defeat the Minutewomen in pool play, 7-2.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 8-4 on the year, while the Minutewomen fall to 1-5. Northwestern now is 1-1 in the pool at the Classic, while Massachusetts is 0-1.
Northwestern jumped on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Kristen Amegin (West Sacramento, Calif./Elk Grove) led off the inning with a walk, then was replaced by pinch runner Gina Gonzalez (LaVerne, Calif./Bonita).
Senior Jamie Dotson (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) followed with a double, but Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate. Dotson advanced to third on the throw and was replaced on the base paths by freshman Ann Schraufnagel (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest).
Senior Sheila McCorkle (Costa Mesa, Calif./Mater Dei) then hit a slow grounder to short, and her speed forced a bad throw, allowing Schraufnagel to score on the error while McCorkle advanced to second. Junior Jessica Miller (Elberfeld, Ind./Techuseh) followed with a ground ball of her own that ricocheted off the second baseman for another error to score McCorkle and make it a 2-0 game.
In the bottom half of the third, freshman Tammy Williams (El Dorado Springs, Mo./Osceola) led off with a double over the head of the left fielder, then advanced to third on a single through the left side by junior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol).
After Logan stole second, junior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) grounded into a fielder's choice, but the throw home was too late to nail Williams, upping the 'Cats' lead to three, 3-0. Logan advanced to third on the play, then scored after Amegin grounded into a double play to make the score 4-0.
Massachusetts got one back in the top of the fourth. With a runner on first after a one-out single -- the first hit allowed by Northwestern starter Courtnay Foster
(Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) -- the Minutewomen hit a ball into left-center field that was dropped for a two-base error, allowing a run to score and cut the Wildcats' lead to three, 4-1.
Northwestern got that run right back in the bottom of the inning. Miller ripped a one-out single up the middle, then scored all the way from first on senior Ashley Crane's (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake) long double to the fence in right to make it 5-1 in favor of the 'Cats.
The Wildcats scored for the fourth-consecutive inning in the bottom of the fifth. Logan led off with a single to left, then advanced to second after the Massachusetts' shortstop mishandled a groundball from Cooper. Amegin followed with a single into right field, scoring Logan and advancing Cooper to third.
Freshman Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) then entered as a pinch hitter and earned her first collegiate RBI with a fielder's choice to short to score Cooper and give the Wildcats a six-run lead, 7-1.
Massachusetts scored a single run in the top of the sixth on a solo home run to make the score 7-2 in favor of NU.
After retiring the first 10 batters she faced, Foster (6-2) earned the win with a complete game effort, allowing two runs (one earned), five hits and two walks while striking out 11. Brandice Balschmitter (1-3) took the loss for the Minutewomen.
Logan finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the Wildcats.
Northwestern returns to action at 9 a.m. CT Saturday, Feb. 25, against Illinois State in the final game of pool play at the Classic.