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    Northwestern Upended By No. 10 Stanford's Late Rallies

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Robin Thompson had three hits in the nightcap.
    Robin Thompson had three hits in the nightcap.

    March 21, 2011

    Game 1 Box Score
    Game 2 Box Score

    Site: Palo Alto, Calif. (Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium)
    Game 1 Score: #10 Stanford 6, Northwestern 5
    Game 2 Score: #10 Stanford 6, Northwestern 5
    Records: NU (12-7), Stanford (19-3)
    Next NU Event: Tuesday, March 22 -- at Saint Mary's (Moraga, Calif.), 4 p.m. CT (DH)

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - Northwestern gave 10th-ranked Stanford all that it could handle Monday, but the host Cardinal rallied late twice to defeat the Wildcats 6-5 in both games of a doubleheader.

    After having all five of their scheduled games of the Louisville Slugger Classic in Palo Alto canceled due to rain over the weekend, NU was itching to get back on the diamond.

    In the first game, the Wildcats jumped out to a lead right out of the gates as Emily Allard started the game with a single, stole second and scored on a one-out single by Michelle Batts. Northwestern loaded the bases with one out but were unable to extend its lead.

    The Cardinal answered back with two runs in the bottom of the first and then added another run in the second to go in front 3-1. The score remained the same until the 'Cats put together a four-run rally in the fifth to surge in front 5-3.

    Once again, it was Allard that got things started as she began the frame with an infield single before swiping her second base of the contest. A sacrifice bunt by Robin Thompson move Allard to third before Adrienne Monka brought her home with a single to right-center to get Northwestern within 3-2.

    Pinch runner Lauren Ackerman moved to second when Batts reached on an error, putting the go-ahead run on base. Two batters later, freshman Marisa Bast socked her second collegiate homer, a three-run shot off Teagan Gerhart, to put NU in front 5-3.



    However, Stanford would rally back to score three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good. Danielle Miller's two-out, two-run double proved to be the difference as the 'Cats went down in order in the seventh.

    Jessica Smith (3-5) took the loss, working the first 5 2/3 innings while striking out five. Just three of the six runs she allowed were earned. Allard collected two hits and scored two runs for Northwestern.

    In the nightcap, the Wildcats again dented the scoreboard in the top of the first inning with some help from Stanford. Thompson singled with one away, stole second, moved up to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball.

    The Cardinal evened the score against NU starter Meghan Lamberth in the bottom half of the frame. More miscues by Stanford helped the Wildcats regain the lead in the top of the third. Allard began the inning with a single and moved to second on a groundout. She would eventually score on a throwing error.

    The hosts answered right back, though, in the bottom of the third as five of the first six batters in the frame reached as the Cardinal was able to chase Lamberth from the game.

    Trailing 4-2, Northwestern bounced back to reclaim the lead in the sixth. A single by Bast and a walk to Mari Majam put two on with no one out and marked the end of Ashley Chinn's day. Gerhart came on in relief, but a sacrifice bunt by Kelly Quinn and a walk to Sammy Albanese loaded the bases. Jordan Wheeler followed with a single to short to plate Bast to make it 4-3. Gerhart retired Allard for the second out, but Thompson came through with a clutch two-run single to put Northwestern in front 5-4.

    Albanese, who entered the game in relief in the third, worked her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth to maintain the one-run lead. After Northwestern went down in order in the top of the seventh, Albanese recorded a strikeout for the first out of the home half. Gerhart collected a one-out single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Albanese got Corey Hanewich on a swinging third strike, but Hanewich was able to reach first on a wild pitch, putting the go-ahead run on base. After getting a popout to second for the second out, a walk loaded the bases for Jenna Rich who delivered a two-run single to center to give the Cardinal another comeback win.

    Thompson had three of the Wildcats' 10 hits in the contest. Albanese (2-2) suffered the loss, surrendering two runs in four innings of work while striking out five.

    Northwestern returns to action at 4 p.m. Central time Tuesday as it squares off against Saint Mary's in a doubleheader.


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