March 19, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Northwestern put a pair of runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning and made them stand up to complete a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Ball State Friday at the DeMarini Invitational hosted by Missouri.
Northwestern improves to 11-10 overall on the year with its victory while Ball State falls to 16-6 overall on the season with its loss.
Ball State put the game's first run on the board in the top of the second, plating two runs on a squeeze bunt and a single to center, with centerfielder Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) throwing out the trail runner at the plate on the single to keep the Cardinals' advantage at two, 2-0. Dyer now has three outfield assists on the season.
Northwestern answered right back in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Dyer crushed a double into the left-center field power alley. Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) followed with a slap behind the runner, but the throw got away from the first baseman for an error, allowing Dyer to come in and cut the Wildcats' deficit in half, 2-1.
Wildcats' starter Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) kept Ball State in check after its two-run second, racking up six strikeouts through four innings of work. In the bottom of the fourth, senior Emily Haug (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) led off with a line drive that one-hopped the wall in right with a thud, caroming right back to the fielder to hold Haug to one bag. Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) entered to run for Haug, then sprinted around to third when Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) ripped a line drive to the wall in left center for a double.
Pauly's hit chased Ball State starter Audra Sanders (3-4) from the circle in favor of Elizabeth Milian, who completed a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Missouri immediately prior to the Cardinals' game against the Wildcats. Dyer greeted Milian by battling back from an 0-2 count to smack a full-count single back through the middle, scoring both Euler and Pauly and pushing Northwestern into the lead, 3-2, heading into the fifth inning.
Delaney continued her trend of two strikeouts per inning in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, finishing a perfect sixth with 10 Ks in the game.
The leadoff Cardinal in the top of the seventh reached via an error, moving to second on a passed ball one out later. Delaney quickly fanned the final two batters to finish off Ball State, 3-2.
Delaney (5-6) went the distance, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts.
Pauly and Dyer both finished 2-for-3 with a double at the plate for the Wildcats. Dyer drove in a pair.
Northwestern is scheduled to take on No. 3 Missouri at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow in its first game of Saturday's action at the DeMarini Invitational, but mother nature may have other plans. Stay tuned to Nusports.com for any schedule changes that may become necessary.