March 2, 2013
Site: Fullerton, Calif. (Anderson Family Field)
Score: No. 16 Stanford 5, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (8-9), Stanford (16-5)
Next NU Event: Saturday, March 2 -- vs. Cal Poly (Easton Invitational), Immediately
FULLERTON, Calif. -- No. 16 Stanford plated five runs (including four that were unearned) in the second inning Saturday before holding off Northwestern in a 5-2 Wildcats' loss at the Easton Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton.
Northwestern falls to 8-9 overall on the season with its loss, seven of which have come to teams currently ranked in the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll. Stanford now is 16-5 on the season.
Several Northwestern miscues allowed Stanford to take the lead in the bottom of the second. First, a bases-loaded hit by pitch forced in a run before a two-run error and two-run single after that made the score 5-0 on four unearned runs.
While the Wildcats' offense scuffled to get rolling, the Cardinal put together another rally in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, two slappers bounced singles very, very high off the dirt in front of home to put runners at the corners. At that point, senior Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) entered the circle in relief of Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and hit the first batter she faced with the first pitch she threw to load the bases. Lamberth then fanned the next batter looking and the following one swinging on a 3-2 pitch to escape the jam.
Northwestern finally got the big hit it had been searching for all weekend long in the top of the fifth. With two outs and Brianna LeBeau
(Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) on base following a single, sophomore Olivia Duehr
(Antioch, Ill./Antioch) crushed a home run over Cal State Fullerton's brand new video board in left field to make the score 5-2. The blast was Duehr's first of the season and the eighth of her career.
Lamberth did her job in the circle, keeping the Cardinal to just its five runs in the second frame. She worked around a leadoff error in the fifth and retired the final six batters she saw in order. Lamberth finished the game with 2.2 innings of work and no hits or walks with four strikeouts.
In the top of the seventh, Northwestern attempted a rally. Letourneau drew a one-out walk and gave way to pinch runner Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana), who moved to second when LeBeau singled through the right side. At that point, Stanford lifted its starting pitcher in favor of Teagan Gearhart, and both runners quickly moved up on a passed ball.
One out later, Duehr drew a full-count, bases-loading walk, but Kristin Scharkey's (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) subsequent flare behind third base was caught on a drop step to end the contest.
LeBeau finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a walk to lead the Northwestern offense in the game while Duehr was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs.
Letourneau (5-5) took the loss, allowing five runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
Northwestern returns to action immediately at the Easton Invitational with a contest against Cal Poly.
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