March 7, 2010
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Pacific scored a pair of runs in the first inning Sunday morning at the DeMarini Invitational, riding out the advantage to outlast Northwestern, 2-1, on getaway day in Fullerton, Calif.
Northwestern enters its winter quarter finals break with a 9-10 overall record while Pacific now is 6-9 with its victory.
Northwestern got runners to first and second in the top of the first via a two-out walk to Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) and a hit by pitch to Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North), but no two-out hit was forthcoming.
In the bottom of the first, senior starter Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) -- who entered the year with three total balks in three seasons -- had to be lifted for Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) after a pair of walks and balk calls put runners on the corners with no outs. A sacrifice fly and single allowed those two runners to come home before Lamberth escaped the inning.
In the top of the second, Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) drew a one-out walk before stealing second base. Kelly Quinn (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) then dunked a single into left, moving Dyer to third and putting herself on second on the throw in. One out later, Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) drew a walk to load the bases, but again run-scoring magic eluded the Wildcats.
While Lamberth continued to stymie Pacific, Northwestern continued to get runners into scoring position. Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) stole second after pinch running for Batts in the third and Allard got to second also via a steal in the fifth, but the Wildcats were unable to bring them the rest of the way around either time.
In the top of the sixth with one out, Nicole Pauly
(Palatine, Ill./Palatine) crushed a towering home run over the fence in left to cut Northwestern's deficit in half, 2-1. The shot was her fourth of the season and the 44th of her career, tying her with Erin Dyer
(2006-09) for third all-time in Wildcat history.
Pacific loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth with no outs, but Lamberth immediately got a grounder to Allard at short, who came home for the force out. The next batter hit a hard comebacker to Lamberth, who gloved it and fired to the plate to start an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play and send things into the seventh, but NU went down in order to end the game.
Delaney (4-6) was saddled with the loss in the game, allowing two runs on the two walks. Lamberth threw 6.0 innings of relief, allowing no runs on eight hits and two walks with one strikeout.
In addition to Pauly's home run, Quinn had two hits for the Wildcats.
Northwestern has next weekend off for winter quarter finals week before returning to action March 19-21 at the Missouri version of the DeMarini Invitational in Columbia, Mo.