March 2, 2013
Site: Fullerton, Calif. (Anderson Family Field)
Score: Northwestern 10, Cal Poly 0 (6)
Records: NU (9-9), Cal Poly (5-13-1)
Next NU Event: Sunday, March 3 -- vs. Cal State Bakersfield (Easton Invitational), 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Northwestern pounded out 13 hits, took advantage of four Cal Poly errors and launched a pair of home runs Saturday evening to back senior Meghan Lamberth's (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) shutout stuff in the circle during a 10-0 (6) run-rule victory over the Mustangs at the Easton Invitational.
Northwestern improves to 9-9 overall on the season with its victory while Cal Poly, which already has wins over ranked Washington and Georgia, and an extra-inning loss to ranked Stanford this year, falls to 5-13-1 with its loss.
Lamberth's shutout is the fourth of her career and her first since blanking Michigan State on May 6 of last year during the Wildcats' push to an NCAA Tournament bid. She scattered seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts in the contest.
Cal Poly threatened to break through against Lamberth right away in the bottom of the first when it got its two leadoff batters to second and third with no outs. Lamberth calmly induced a comebacker, got a swinging K and then a looping foul out to first to end the inning unscathed.
Northwestern seized on the stop and pushed the game's first runs across in the top of the second. Brianna LeBeau
(Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) began the rally when she was hit by a pitch to reach base in her seventh-straight plate appearance dating to NU's opening game of the Easton Invitational. A fielder's choice ball off the bat of Andrea DiPrima
(Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) erased LeBeau at second before an Amy Letourneau
(Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) walk and an Olivia Duehr
(Antioch, Ill./Antioch) single loaded the bases with one out.
The first run came home when Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) hit a comebacker to the pitcher and the throw home got away for an error. Following a successful out bid at the plate by Cal Poly, Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) and Lamberth delivered back-to-back two-out, two-run singles to put Northwestern on top early, 5-0.
After Lamberth stranded single Cal Poly base runners in the second and third innings, Northwestern added to its edge in the fourth. Scharkey and Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) led off the frame with back-to-back singles before Bast shot a grounder toward third that went right through the wickets of the fielder for a run-scoring error and a 6-0 NU lead.
Northwestern continued to press its case in the fifth with another run, but was unable to bust the game wide open in an opportune situation. Letourneau, Duehr and Scharkey loaded the bases with no outs on back-to-back-to-back singles of varying shapes and sizes. Majam then put a ball in play to the shortstop who failed to glove it cleanly, resulting in an error with no throw to any base and a 7-0 score. The next three batters for the 'Cats could not cash in on the chance, however, to keep the game one-run shy of run-rule territory.
The Wildcats took care of the run-rule in the sixth. After LeBeau singled off the pitcher to reach base for the third time in the game, Letourneau smashed a one-out, 3-2 offering over the fence for her first home run of the season and the ninth of her career. Not to be outdone, Duehr delivered a drive of her own for back-to-back Northwestern jacks and a 10-0 lead. Duehr's blast was her second of the day after she also hit one against No. 16 Stanford, giving her two on the year and nine for her career.
Freshman Caylor Arnold (Mount Gilead, Ohio/Mount Gilead) added a deep pinch hit, ground rule double later in the inning, but at that point the barrage subsided. Lamberth then re-took the circle to close out her shutout.
Duehr led NU at the plate with a 3-for-4 day, scoring twice and driving in one. Letourneau went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Bast was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Scharkey finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Lamberth also drove in a pair for the Wildcats.
Northwestern is back in action at 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT tomorrow, Sunday, March 3, in its Easton Invitational finale against Cal State Bakersfield.
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