March 8, 2013
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Complex Field 2)
Score: Northwestern 5, Boston University 0
Records: NU (12-9), Boston University (4-8)
Next NU Event: March 9, 2013 -- vs. South Carolina (Eddie C. Moore Complex Field 8), 8:30 a.m. CT/9:30 a.m. ET
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Northwestern tossed its fourth shutout in as many games, this one coming courtesy of sophomore Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic), as the Wildcats blanked Boston University, 5-0, Friday at the South Florida Under Armour Showcase.
NU now has won four straight contests, improving to 12-9 overall on the season and 2-0 at the Under Armour Showcase. Boston falls to 4-8 on the year with its loss, 1-1 at the tournament.
The Northwestern shutout was its fourth 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., before a 4-0 win over Saint Joseph's earlier Friday in Florida. NU has a current 31-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.
Letourneau (7-5) earned her second-straight shutout during NU's streak, allowing three hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts to pick up the complete game victory. Letourneau now has four career shutouts for the Wildcats and double-digit strikeout totals in seven of her 11 starts this year.
Northwestern wasted little time jumping ahead right away against Boston University in the first. Senior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) first led off with a double into center before moving to third on a bunt hit from Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire). With nobody covering second on the play, Majam simply continued to run and wound up safely on the bag with a double. A wild pitch and a Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) run-scoring single later, NU held a 2-0 edge going into the second inning.
Allard's base hit in the first was her second-consecutive game-starting double of the day after also performing the feat against Saint Joseph's. She now has an active 18-game hitting streak dating to 2012 after missing every NU game since Opening Day while recovering from injury.
NU continued to hit in subsequent innings, getting two runners on in each of the second and third frames, but the Wildcats were unable to scratch out any runs from the rallies.
The Terriers got their two leadoff batters in the fourth aboard via walks before Letourneau bore down to fan the next two to the plate. She ended the inning unscathed with a flyout to Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) in center.
Northwestern pushed its advantage to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of back-to-back two-out home runs from Bast and Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada). Scharkey led off the inning with a single and still was at second base two outs later. That's when Bast stepped up sent a booming home run -- her sixth of the season and 24th of her career -- over the fence in left center for a two-run shot. Edwards then followed suit with a solo shot for her third of the year.
A pair of Northwestern errors in the top of the sixth threatened to end the Wildcats' scoreless innings streak by putting Terriers at second and third with one out. Letourneau, though, was able to get her eighth strikeout of the game and a flyout to right to keep Boston off the board.
The leadoff Terrier in the seventh reached on a hit by pitch but Letourneau bore down to strike out the side and end the game.
Bast, Edwards and Aubrie May (La Mesa, Calif./Grossmont) all went 2-for-3 in the game for Northwestern. Bast drove in three runs to lead the 'Cats.
Northwestern returns to action against South Carolina and Massachusetts in a doubleheader beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT/9:30 a.m. ET tomorrow, Saturday, March 9, at the 2013 South Florida Under Armour Showcase. The two games represent rematches of NU's NCAA Evanston Super Regional championships from 2006 (Massachusetts) and 2007 (South Carolina) that sent the Wildcats to the Women's College World Series.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!