March 30, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 8 Northwestern opened its home and Big Ten schedule Friday afternoon against No. 10 Michigan at Sharon J. Drysdale Field, falling to the Wolverines on a blustery and rainy day, 11-4.
The loss drops Northwestern to 24-7 overall on the year, 0-1 Big Ten. Michigan improves to 26-5 win the victory, 1-0 in the conference.
The Wildcats got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) reached base on a one-out error by the second baseman, then moved to third when Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) crushed a single up the middle. Cooper moved to second on the throw to third.
After Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) walked to load the bases, freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) smashed a doubled into right field to drive home Williams and Cooper and give NU a 2-0 lead.
Michigan struck back for four runs in the top of the third. With two outs and runners at second and third, the Wolverines got a run after a wild pitch and an error before a single drove in UM's second run to knot the score, 2-2.
Now with a runner at first, Tiffany Worthy hit a ball that appeared to bounce just over the third-base bag, settling into the corner of the fence in foul territory in left field for a double. A two-run single followed the double to give Michigan a 4-2 lead.
After giving up a single to Williams to lead off the third, Michigan starter Lorilyn Wilson was replaced in the circle by Nikki Nemitz (11-2). The base hit coupled with the earlier run scored by Williams extended her hitting and run-scoring streak to 17 games.
Michigan extended its lead to four, 6-2, with a two-out, two-run double in the top of the fifth.
Northwestern got those two runs back right away in the bottom half of the fifth. Williams led off with a walk, then moved to third on a single by Cooper. The throw into third ricocheted away into the Michigan dugout, allowing Williams to score and Cooper to move to third. Dyer then hit a sacrifice fly into right field to plate Cooper and cut the deficit to two, 6-4.
The Wolverines would then score five runs in the top of the sixth on three hits and a trio of Wildcats' miscues to take an 11-4 lead. Midway through the inning, Northwestern starter Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) was replaced by Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) in the circle.
Canney would be tagged with the loss to fall to 12-7 on the season. She gave up nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits and four walks with seven strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched. Delaney went the final two innings pitched, allowing two unearned runs on a hit and a walk with two strikeouts.
Cooper, Pauly and Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) all collected two hits for NU, with Cooper and Williams both scoring twice. Pauly drove in two runs for NU.
Northwestern returns to action at noon CT tomorrow, Saturday, March 31, for the second game of its series against No. 10 Michigan.