March 2, 2007
FULLERTON, Calif. -- No. 8 Northwestern scored three runs in the third inning and rode 14 strikeouts from starter Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) to a 3-2 win Friday night against Texas Tech in NU's opening game at the Worth Invitational.
The win improves the Wildcats to 11-5 on the season, while Texas Tech falls to 12-6 with the loss.
Texas Tech scored the game's first run without the benefit of a hit. After a one-out walk and a steal by Devin Zaragoza, a slow grounder was mishandled to allow the runner to come around and score for a 1-0 Red Raider lead.
Tech added a second run in much the same fashion in the top of the third. Zaragoza again drew a one-out walk, this time moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. A single up the middle then scored her for the second time to give the Raiders a two-run lead, 2-0.
Northwestern put itself on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third. Junior Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) drew a leadoff work before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol).
Sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) followed with a single back up the middle to score Sengewald from second. Senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) then lofted a ball deep into centerfield that carried itself over the fence for a home run and a 3-2 Northwestern lead.
The homer was Cooper's sixth of the year and the 38th of her career, tying her with Indiana's Monica Armendarez (1995-98) for fifth in Big Ten Conference history. The two RBIs were the 150th and 151st of her career.
The Wildcats nearly added another tally in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, freshman Julia Sears (Chicago, Ill./Marist) hit a pinch-hit single into right for the first hit of her career. After Sears stole second, freshman pinch-hitter Emily Haug (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) singled through the right side of the infield, but a charging rightfielder collected the hit and fired home to nail Sears at the plate and end the inning.
After surrendering the two runs -- only one earned -- in the first three innings, Canney settled down to earn the win and push her record to 5-5 on the year. She allowed two hits and four walks while striking out 14, including the side in the seventh.
Northwestern returns to action immediately, facing San Diego State in the back-end of a Friday double-dip at the Worth Invitational.