March 8, 2013
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Complex Field 2)
Score: Northwestern 4, Saint Joseph's 0
Records: NU (11-9), Saint Joseph's (7-3-1)
Next NU Event: March 8, 2013 -- vs. Boston University (Under Armour Showcase), 3:45 p.m. CT/4:45 p.m. ET
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Senior Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) tossed her second shutout in as many starts with a two-hitter Friday and Northwestern plated four runs in the second inning to defeat Saint Joseph's, 4-0, in the Wildcats' opening game of the South Florida Under Armour Showcase.
Northwestern improves to 11-9 on the season, 1-0 at the UA Showcase with its win. Saint Joseph's falls to 1-1 at the tournament and 7-3-1 overall on the year with its loss.
Lamberth worked around a leadoff walk in the second, a leadoff single in the fifth and two base runners in the seventh for her fifth-career shutout, matching her career-low with two hits allowed. She needed just 83 pitches to complete the game with two strikeouts and move to 5-3 on the season.
The Northwestern shutout was its third in a row after blanking Cal Poly (10-0 (6)) and Cal State Bakersfield (5-0) to end last week's Easton Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. NU has a current 24-inning opponent scoreless streak -- its longest since a 40-inning stretch in 2008 -- dating to the third inning of a contest against No. 16 Stanford last week.
Lamberth set down the Saint Joseph's side in order with an eight-pitch (all strikes) top of the first, senior Emily Allard
(Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) legged out a leadoff double in the bottom half. The hit extended Allard's active hitting streak to 17 games dating to 2012 and it came in her first start since Opening Day after she missed a month due to injury. She would end the first inning, however, standing on third base.
Lamberth continued to be efficient in the second, allowing a leadoff walk before retiring the next three batters on just three total pitches. Northwestern rewarded its hurler with a lead in the bottom of the frame, beginning with an Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) single to left that was misplayed to allow her to take second. Following a perfect Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) sacrifice, Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) singled into left to give NU a 1-0 lead.
The inning continued with a walk to Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) before an error on a Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) bunt loaded the bags with one out. Allard then dropped a single into the outfield to push Letourneau home before a two-out Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) ground rule double brought in two more 'Cats for a 4-0 NU lead going into the third.
Lamberth retired the side in order in the third and fourth before Scharkey led off NU's half of the fourth by reaching on an error. She stole second then moved to third on a one-out Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) single. After Majam swiped second herself, Bast crushed a ball that the shortstop leapt to grab before doubling up Scharkey, who had no chance on the bang-bang sequence. The double play ended the NU inning.
Saint Joseph's ended Lamberth's no-hit bid with a solid single through the right side hole to lead off the fifth, but just as she did in the second frame following a leadoff walk, the senior retired the side immediately after the Hawk reached base.
NU threatened to add to its lead in the fifth. Sophomore Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) led off the Wildcats' half with a pinch hit walk before Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana) entered to run for her. Edwards then beat out an infield single that moved Strub to second before both runners eventually recorded stolen bases, but both also would be stranded on those bags when the inning ended.
Lamberth recorded her fourth 1-2-3 inning of the game in the top of the sixth then hit the first batter of the seventh before a one-out single put two Hawks aboard. A 5-3 double play turned aptly by Bast ended the game and preserved the two-hit clean sheet for Lamberth.
Edwards led NU with a 2-for-3 day at the plate while Allard went 2-for-4 with a double and Bast drove in a pair.
Northwestern returns to action against Boston University immediately at the 2013 South Florida Under Armour Showcase.
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