March 20, 2007
ST. LOUIS -- After waiting out a 45-minute rain delay, No. 7 Northwestern notched its 10th-straight win with an 11-1 victory Tuesday evening at Saint Louis University in the first game of a doubleheader.
The win improves the Wildcats to 20-5 on the season, while the Billikens fall to 12-14 with the loss.
Northwestern jumped right on the board early in the first with a pair of runs. Senior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) slapped a leadoff single through the left side of the infield, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) followed with a single back up the middle that plated Logan from third and gave the 'Cats an early 1-0 lead.
With one out and Williams at second following a steal, freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) singled back up the gut to score Williams and make it a 2-0 NU advantage.
In the top of the second, junior Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) drew a one-out walk, then moved to second on a bunt single from Logan.
Williams then came to the plate and swatted a pitch over the fence in center for a three-run home run and a 5-0 Wildcats' lead. The blast was her eighth of the season, leaving her one behind teammate Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) for the team lead.
Saint Louis got a run back in the bottom of the second without the benefit of a hit against Northwestern starter Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise). After a walk, the runner moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third base, then scampered home on a passed ball to give the Billikens an unearned run to cut the NU lead to four, 5-1.
The Wildcats scored two more in the top of the fourth. Sengewald drew a leadoff walk, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice ball hit by Logan. After Logan stole second and third, Williams walked and promptly stole second to put runners on second and third with one out.
Cooper followed with a fly ball deep to center to score Logan on the sacrifice fly. With Williams still on second and two outs, Pauly hit a tall pop fly toward short that was dropped for an error to allow Williams to score all the way from second and make the NU lead six, 7-1.
Williams now has 35 runs scored on the year, a single-season total that already ties for 10th in school history. She has scored 23 runs in the Wildcats' last 11 games, and also has an 11-game hitting streak with multiple base knocks in the last nine of those contests.
Canney carried a no-no through the first 3.2 innings before a high pop fly toward center fell in for a single in the fourth. Meanwhile in the Billiken circle, starter Ashley Levan (5-3) was replaced by Rosie Gonzalez to start the sixth inning.
Northwestern added a final four-spot in the stop of the seventh. With one out, sophomore Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) reached on an error by the shortstop, then was replaced by pinch runner Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley). Senior Jessica Miller (Elberfeld, Ind./Techumseh) singled Lafever over the third, then stole second to put runners and second and third with one down.
One out later, freshman Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) singled home Lafever to give NU an 8-1 lead.
Sengewald then crunched her first home run of the season over the right-center field fence to drive in everybody and make the score 11-1. After the blast, Logan hit a single, pinch-hitter Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Gina Gonzalez (LaVerne, Calif./Bonita) singled to load the bases with two outs, knocking Rosie Gonzalez from the game in favor of Stacy Gillette, who recorded the final out of the frame.
Canney improved to 10-5 on the year with the win in the contest, allowing two hits and three walks along with the one unearned run while striking out 12.
Logan finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three steals, while Williams was 2-for-3 with four RBIs, three runs scored and two steals. Pauly notched two hits, while Sengewald was 1-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the 'Cats.