March 8, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Sophomore Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) was untouchable Saturday afternoon against LIU Brooklyn, throwing her first collegiate no-hitter to aid in a 10-0 (5) run-rule Northwestern win over the Blackbirds.
Wood's (8-2) first career no-no also was her first-career shutout for the `Cats. She scattered five walks in game and used just 93 pitches. The no-hitter is the 47th in Northwestern history. Three of NU's four pitchers this year now have no-hitters in their careers; Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) threw one as a freshman in 2011 and Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) had two last year.
Northwestern improves to 14-4 overall on the season with its win while LIU Brooklyn falls to 8-15 with its loss. The Wildcats defeated the Blackbirds once already this season, putting up a 14-1 (5) victory at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic to account for LIU Brooklyn's worst loss of 2014.
After putting together two monster innings against LIU Brooklyn in the two teams' last meeting, NU attempted to set that tone again in the first on Saturday. The first three Wildcats to plate in the form of Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley), Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) and Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) recorded base hits, but aggressive base running in that time also resulted in two outs. Still, a Bast single scored Majam to put the Wildcats up 1-0 after one inning.
NU loaded the bases with no outs in the second on an error, an Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) single and a four-pitch walk to Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards). The Blackbirds were able to get force outs at the plate from the next two Wildcats up to help escape that jam with no further NU damage.
In the top of the fourth, Northwestern got back on the scoreboard with its 12th inning of the year of five or more runs scored, this time sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs to take a 7-0 lead in the contest. Filler began the inning with a solid single before LeBeau continued her scorching tournament with a two-run home run to dead center -- her third home run in Florida in as many games.
One out later, the inning continued with three-straight singles from Albanese, Allard and Majam to load the bases. Bast then drove in her second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right before Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) shot a two-run single to left to make it 6-0. DiPrima herself would later come in on a passed ball before all was said and done.
NU pushed the game into-run territory in the top of the fifth. Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) drew a leadoff walk, then freshman Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) entered the game as a pinch runner and stole every. single. base. She came home as part of a double steal with Allard -- who had herself walked -- to make it an 8-0 score. Bast put the finishing touches on the NU offensive effort with a two-run blast to left field, her fourth homer of the year and the 34th of her career, tying her with Kristen Amegin (2003-06) for seventh all-time at NU.
Bast led NU at the plate with a 3-for-3 day via a single, double and home run. She had four RBIs. DiPrima drove in two as did LeBeau. Filler, Allard and Majam had two hits, and Allard and Majam both scored twice.
Northwestern returns to action immediately at 4 p.m. CT against Western Michigan.
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