March 9, 2013
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Complex Field 9)
Score: Northwestern 8, Massachusetts 0 (5)
Records: NU (14-9), Massachusetts (2-10)
Next NU Event: March 10, 2013 -- vs. Loyola Marymount (Eddie C. Moore Complex Field 4), 8 a.m. CT/9 a.m. ET (Note: this time is a change from the originally published schedule)
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Northwestern head coach Kate Drohan earned the 400th win of her career Saturday in resounding fashion via an 8-0 (5) victory over Massachusetts at the South Florida Under Armour Showcase.
Drohan and her twin sister, Caryl, are in their 12th year at the helm of the Northwestern program, owning a 400-215-1 all-time record that includes 27 NCAA Tournament victories, four NCAA Regional titles, two Big Ten titles and two trips to the Women's College World Series. One of those trips came after NU defeated Saturday's opponent, Massachusetts, two games to one at the 2006 Evanston Super Regional.
With the win, Northwestern's current winning streak now is six games. NU moves to 4-0 in South Florida and 14-9 overall on the season. Massachusetts falls to 2-10 this year with its loss.
Senior Meghan Lamberth
(Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) aided in her coach's milestone day with one of her own, firing her third-consecutive shutout from the circle by allowing three hits and a walk while fanning five. Lamberth (6-3) has a personal scoreless streak of 20.2 innings dating to 2.2 frames of hitless relief against No. 16 Stanford on March 2 in Fullerton, Calif.
After smashing a home run and a double in Northwestern's first game Saturday against South Carolina, sophomore Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) remained red hot against Massachusetts. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Letourneau sent a soaring home run over the center-field fence for a 2-0 NU edge. Letourneau now has three homers this season and 11 for her career.
After Lamberth stranded a pair of one-out runners at second and third via a strikeout and a pop up to Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) at second, Northwestern added to its total in the bottom of the frame. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) led off with an infield single before junior Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) stepped to the plate. Owner of four-career extra base hits entering Saturday, Tonz put a massive swing on the first pitch she saw and clobbered it over the fence in dead center for her first-career home run and a 4-0 Northwestern lead.
At that point, Massachusetts lifted starting pitcher Emma Mendoker (0-4) in favor of Bridget Lemire. Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) and Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) beat out infield singles later in the frame, but NU could not push them across.
While Lamberth continued to deal in the circle, Northwestern continued to score from the batter's box. Scharkey and Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off the bottom of the fourth with consecutive hit singles before Scharkey was erased at third on a Majam fielder's choice ball. Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) then put a high chopper toward second in play that was booted for an error, allowing Allard to motor all the way around slide home safely.
Letourneau then drew a walk to load the bases still with one down before Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) lifted a sacrifice fly into center to extend the NU cushion to 6-0 entering the fifth frame.
Lamberth fanned the side around a two-out single in the top of the fifth before another first-collegiate home run left the park for the 'Cats. DiPrima led off the frame and flashed opposite field power to deposit the first homer of her career over the left-field fence. Tonz then reached on an error and gave way to pinch runner Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana). After Scharkey joined Strub on base via a walk, a series of events including a fielder's choice occurred that set up a Majam single to end the game.
Scharkey was a perfect 2-for-2 in the game with a walk while DiPrima had two hits and scored twice. Majam also had two hits, and Letourneau drove in a pair for the Wildcats.
Northwestern concludes its Under Armour Showcase and 2013 pre-conference schedule at 8 a.m. CT/9 a.m. ET tomorrow, Sunday, March 10, in a re-match with Loyola Marymount on Field 4 at the main Eddie C. Moore complex. NU previously defeated the Lions, 7-3, in nine innings at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
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!