March 17, 2012
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Field Four)
Score: No. 21 Florida State 1, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (8-13), Florida State (22-3)
Next NU Event: March 17, 2012 -- vs. Chattanooga (USF Invite), 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- In a game where offense was at a premium, No. 21 Florida State strung two hits together in the third inning Saturday at the USF Invite to plate the only run in a 1-0 Northwestern loss to the Seminoles.
Northwestern now is 8-13 overall on the season, having faced 12 ranked opponents in its first 21 games of the year. Florida State improves to 22-3 on the season with its victory.
Junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off the game with a single and a steal of second base, and freshman Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) worked a four-pitch walk in the second, but each time they were Northwestern's only base runners in the inning. Meanwhile, Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) retired the first five Seminoles she faced before working easily around a two-out flare single in the bottom of the second.
Florida State found the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a pair of two-out bloops. Unrelated to the run, the first batter reached on a single before she was erased trying to tag on a foul out that Mari Majam
(Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) gloved in left. Majam alertly fired to Anna Edwards
(La Canada, Calif./La Canada) covering the second-base bag to complete the double play there. The next batter hit a bloop over short that the wind caught and carried past the converging fielders for a double, then a second bloop toward left gave Florida State a 1-0 lead heading to the fourth inning.
After that RBI hit in the third, Lamberth retired seven-straight Seminoles to keep the NU deficit at a single run through five innings of play. In that same timeframe, Florida State pitcher Monica Perry -- who pitched for Illinois circa 2009-10 in a previous life -- continued to keep the Northwestern batters off balance. NU got a base runner for the first time since the second inning when Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) reached on a two-out error in the sixth, but she quickly was stranded.
After Lamberth ran her consecutive batters retired streak to 11, Northwestern attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh. Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) led off the inning with a screaming single into right for NU's first hit since Allard led off the game with a single, then Edwards executed a perfect sacrifice to move Bast to second. Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) then worked a full-count, one-out walk to put the go-ahead run on base, but the Seminoles escaped the threat to end the game.
Lamberth (3-6) took the loss despite allowing just the one run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. In recent outings, Lamberth has held No. 11 Missouri to a single run in a 7-1 win but taken a 1-0 loss to No. 11 Stanford, a 2-1 loss to No. 24 South Florida and a 1-0 loss to No. 21 Florida State.
Northwestern returns to action at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET against Chattanooga at the USF Invite.
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