March 1, 2008
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Bradley handed No. 6 Northwestern a 4-0 loss during the Wildcats' second game Saturday at the Coach B Classic.
The loss drops the Wildcats to 8-3 on the season while the Braves improve to 5-2 on the year with their win.
Bradley opened the scoring immediately in the top of the first. A pair of one-out, seeing-eye singles through the left side of the infield put runners at first and second against Northwestern starter Jessica Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon). A passed ball allowed both runners to move up a bag before a wild pitch scored one to give the Braves an early 1-0 lead. Smith prevented further damage by striking out the side.
Northwestern tried to break through in the bottom of the third but had no such luck. A leadoff single by sophomore Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) was followed by a sacrifice bunt from Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley). Freshman Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) drew a walk, then one out later junior Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two gone. Sophomore Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) then fisted a soft liner that the Bradley shortstop ranged to her left to glove to end the inning.
Northwestern again threatened in the bottom of the fourth, putting runners at second and third following a double from freshman Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) and a bunt single by Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest), but again no runs would come of the situation.
Bradley added to its lead in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles were followed by a double to the fence in right to score one Brave and knock Smith from the ballgame in favor of Lauren Delaney
(Jefferson City, Mo./Helias). With runners now on second and third and one out, Delaney fanned the next batter before the next Brave shot a single back up the middle to score two more and make NU's deficit four, 4-0.
Smith (1-1) was charged with the loss, going 4.1 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Delaney threw the final 2.2 innings for NU, allowing no runs on one hit and a hit batter with a quartet of strikeouts.
Ashley Birdsong (5-1) went the distance in the circle for Bradley to pick up the win.
Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, March 2, against Western Illinois at the Coach B Classic.