March 21, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Northwestern put up a four-run fourth inning in the second game of a brunch doubleheader Friday against Wisconsin at the Ballpark at Rosemont, riding those runs to 4-2 victory and a sweep of the day.
NU previously won game one of the double-dip 8-6 (8) and now is 17-5 overall on the season, 2-0 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin falls to 14-12 on the year, 0-2 in the conference. Northwestern and Wisconsin will conclude their series at 4 p.m. CT tomorrow, Saturday, March 22, at the Ballpark at Rosemont.
Wisconsin took advantage of a leadoff triple in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead on what proved to be the lone base hit for either team in the first three innings of the contest featuring Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) in the circle for Northwestern and Taylor-Paige Stewart starting for the Badgers.
Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) broke through in the hit column for the Wildcats when she led off the bottom of the fourth with a sharp single through the middle. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) followed with a single of her own before Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) fouled off several pitches and took several more that were quite close for a patient full-count, bases-loading walk.
Proving the hypothesis that hitting is contagious, Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) roped a stand-up double inside the third-base bag to bring home Bast and DiPrima and push Northwestern on top. The inning continued with a Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) RBI groundout and a Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) sacrifice fly to pick up the remaining two Wildcats on base from the inning-opening rally and make it a 4-1 game heading to the fifth inning.
Albanese worked a shutdown 1-2-3 top of the fifth before the Badgers battled back in the top of the sixth. Wisconsin got one across early in the frame and then loaded the bases with one out. Albanese got a fielder's choice grounder to Kuhn at first who threw home for the second out, then the senior fanned the next batter to keep NU on top, 4-2.
With the score the same in the top of the seventh, Albanese got the first two outs in order before Wisconsin got a pair of two-out singles. Albanese then issued a work-around walk to the red-hot Mary Massei before inducing a comebacker to end the game.
Albanese, who got the win with 2.1 innings of relief in game one, moves to 5-2 on the year with her complete-game effort. She gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
DiPrima went 2-for-3 at the plate for NU while Filler drove in a pair to pace the Wildcats offense.
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