Feb. 25, 2012
Site: Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Des Moines Field)
Score: Northwestern 8, Colorado State 1
Records: NU (4-7), Colorado State (4-9)
Next NU Event: Feb. 25, 2012 -- vs. No. 19 Oregon (Cathedral City Classic), Immediately
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Northwestern jumped all over Colorado State with a five-run first inning Saturday afternoon at the Cathedral City Classic, riding the outburst to an 8-1 win over the Rams.
Northwestern improves to 4-7 on the season with its win while Colorado State falls to 4-9 with its loss.
Junior Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) came out of the gate assertive in the circle, setting the Rams' side down in order with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the first. Junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) seized on the strong start, singling to start NU's half at the plate before immediately stealing second base. Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) filled the void at first with a walk, then Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) loaded the bags with a walk of her own.
Sophomore Marisa Bast
(Orange, Calif./Villa Park) began the scoring with a single into center, moving everyone up a base and Allard across the plate. One out later, Anna Edwards
(La Canada, Calif./La Canada) grounded out to short, but the play brought Albanese home for a 2-0 lead. Freshman Olivia Duehr
(Antioch, Ill./Antioch) followed up with a deep drive to left that exited the ballpark for a three-run home run and an early 5-0 Northwestern advantage. Duehr's shot was the second of her career.
Colorado State answered with its own bases-loaded-and-no-out situation in the top of the second after a pair of singles and a Northwestern error. Lamberth fanned the next batter on just three pitches, the following in six pitches and then got a one-pitch groundout to Bast at third to end the threat with no runs across.
The Wildcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the second with two outs on an Albanese double over the head of the right fielder and walks to Monka and Bast. Amanda Mehrshiekh (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) entered the game to run for Monka at second, but nothing further occurred in that frame.
With the top of the order up in the third against Lamberth, Colorado State got a one-out single. Lamberth then induced a high one-bouncer to Edwards at second, who grabbed it and tagged the runner before throwing to first for an inning-ending double play.
Lamberth was able to strand a leadoff single in the fourth inning in part thanks to her sixth and seventh strikeouts of the game -- establishing a career high that broke her previous mark of six in a game against Wisconsin in 2010.
Northwestern tacked onto its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Allard recorded a one-out single up the middle before stealing second for the second time in the game. Albanese moved her to third with a productive groundout to the right side, then Monka drilled a pitch seemingly with the grip of her bat, driving it far enough behind second for a single to drive in Allard and extend NU's advantage to 6-0.
Colorado State found the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of a two-out Northwestern error to plate a run with a single and another soft hit that Allard nearly grabbed in the hole at short. The next batter smashed a hard liner to right, but Duehr cut the angle and reached up to make the inning-ending grab as the ball threatened to zoom over her head.
Duehr continued her great all-around game with a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, she stole second before pinch hitter Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) joined her on base via a walk. Allard's third hit of the game loaded the bags, but an Albanese sharp-shot to third was gloved on a hop to end the threat.
Monka led off the bottom of the sixth with a single back through the middle, then motored all the way around to score when Bast blasted a triple to right center. Monka slid in just under the tag and punctuated the run with an emphatic slap of the hand as her teammates rushed out of the dugout.
With the score now 7-1, Duehr collected her third hit of the game to drive home Bast and complete NU's scoring. Lamberth then closed out the game in the top of the seventh with no further Colorado State runs.
Lamberth (1-2) earned the win in a strong complete-game start, allowing just one unearned run on seven hits with a career-best seven strikeouts.
Duehr had a 3-for-4 day with a home run, a steal and four RBIs. Allard also collected three hits while scoring twice and stealing two bases. Bast rounded out a trio of 'Cats with three hits, knocking in a pair and crossing home on two occasions. Monka concluded the game 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs.
Northwestern returns to action immediately against No. 19 Oregon at the Cathedral City Classic.
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