March 8, 2008
LAKEWOOD, Calif. -- After suffering a heartbreaking loss in which Northwestern tossed a no-hitter during Saturday's first game of the Long Beach Invitational, No. 8 NU fell in a run-rule decision in its second game against Long Beach State, 8-0 (5).
The loss drops Northwestern to 12-5 on the season, while Long Beach State improves to 14-7 with its win.
Long Beach State opened the game's scoring in the bottom of the first inning, getting a pair of runs across without a hit against Northwestern starter Jessica Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon). A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases with no outs, and while NU then recorded three outs on two groundouts and a foul out, a pair of runs came home on wild pitches.
Northwestern loaded the bases in the top of the second with two outs, with sophomore Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) drawing a walk, junior Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) getting hit by a pitch and freshman Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) laying down a bunt single. A low liner to short ended the inning with no runs across for the 'Cats.
The first two LBSU batters in the second inning reached base on walks, then moved over on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter launched a comebacker that ricocheted off Smith to Williams at short, who quickly tagged the runner at second as she went by before firing to first to complete the double play and get NU out of the frame with no damage done.
Junior Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) led off the top of the fourth with a deep, soaring double to left that hit the base of the fence allegedly located 220 feet from home. Her younger sister, Kelly, immediately followed with a walk to put two runners on with no outs. Sophomore Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) then replaced Erin at second as a pinch runner, but no runs would come of the situation.
Long Beach added another run in the bottom of the third inning after a trio of walks and the first base hit given up by a Northwestern pitcher in more than 10 innings on the day (sophomore Lauren Delaney
(Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) threw a no-hitter in a 1-0, eight-inning loss to No. 24 Virginia Tech prior to NU's game against LBSU). With the score now 3-0, Smith coaxed a pop up to short and a dribbler to first to end the inning.
Two more walks in the bottom of the fifth came around to score when a 49er launched a triple just short of the spot when Erin Dyer's double landed. That runner then came home on a single to left to give LBSU a 6-0 lead. After a groundout moved runners to second and third, a single ended the game in run-rule fashion, 8-0.
Smith went 4.2 innings, giving up eight runs on nine walks and five hits. Her record falls to 2-2 on the season.
Northwestern returns to action at 1:15 p.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, March 9, against UCLA in its Long Beach Invitational finale at Mayfair Park.