Feb. 24, 2008
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- As the clock in the desert of Palm Springs struck midnight Saturday, No. 2 Northwestern completed a rally from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat No. 25 Texas, 5-4.
Northwestern improves to 7-1 with the win, while Texas' loss drops it to 7-4-1 on the season.
Texas got the scoring underway in the top of the second. The Longhorns got a leadoff double, then the runner moved to third on a groundout. A sacrifice fly to deep center plated the runner for a 1-0 Texas advantage.
Texas poured it on in the top of the fourth, plating a trio of runs on a home run, a walk, two singles and a squeeze bunt to knock Northwestern starter Jessica Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) from the game with the score 4-0. Sophomore Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) came into the game in relief and got the 'Cats out of further trouble with a pair of strikeouts.
Smith gave up four runs on four hits and one walk with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched officially.
Northwestern started its rally in the bottom half of the fourth. Freshman Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) stroked a leadoff single into center, then was replaced at first by pinch runner Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). One out later, junior Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) drew a walk, setting the table for her younger sister Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport), who blasted a home run off the glove of the center fielder and over the temporary fence in right center to cut NU's deficit to one, 4-3.
With Delaney holding Texas in check offensively, Batts knotted the game, 4-4, with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. The blast was her third of the season and her second of the day after also homering against No. 6 LSU.
Texas threatened in the top of the seventh, getting a runner on third with no outs after a double and a wild pitch. Delaney then fanned the next two batters before a fly out to Darcy Sengewald
(Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) in left ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, freshman pinch hitter Kelly Quinn (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) drew a leadoff walk, then was erased on a fielder's choice ball from Sengewald. Williams was hit by a pitch to move Sengewald to second, then a wild pitch moved both runners up a bag. Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) then launched a deep fly ball to right field that was caught, but Sengewald scored easily to give NU the 5-4 win.
Delaney picked up the win to move to 6-1 on the season. She went 3.2 innings in relief, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out seven. Meagan Denny (6-1) took the loss for Texas.
Williams and Batts both had a pair of hits for Northwestern, while Kelly Dyer recorded a trio of RBIs.
Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 24 against No. 11 UCLA on getaway day at the Palm Springs Classic.