March 31, 2012
Site: Madison, Wis. (Goodman Diamond)
Score: Wisconsin 12, Northwestern 4 (6)
Records: NU (12-18, 0-4 Big Ten), Wisconsin (14-10, 3-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: March 31 -- at Wisconsin (Goodman Diamond), Immediately
MADISON, Wis. -- Five Northwestern errors in the first game of a Saturday Big Ten doubleheader at Wisconsin led to a 12-4, six-inning loss for the Wildcats against the Badgers.
Northwestern falls to 12-18 on the year with its loss, 0-4 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin in 14-10 overall on the season with its win, 3-1 in the conference. NU and UW get right back on the diamond immediately for the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Northwestern opened the game's scoring in the top of the first. Junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off the contest with a scorching single into center, then moved to second and third on productive groundouts from Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) and Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga). Sophomore Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) recorded the two-out RBI with a single into left to give NU an early 1-0 edge.
Wisconsin wasted little time equalizing against Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth
(Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette), turning a one-out single into a 1-1 tie when the No. 3 batter doubled into the gap in left center. Two Wildcats' errors later in the frame contributed to a 3-1 Badgers' lead heading into the second inning.
Northwestern got a pair of walks and a Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) single in the top of the second but could not score during the rally. Wisconsin then led off the bottom of the frame with a double, leading to Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) entering the circle in relief of Lamberth. A third NU error in the game helped the Badgers make their edge 5-1 before the end of the second inning.
Northwestern battled back with small ball in the top of the third. Majam led off the inning with a deadened single just out in front of the plate before moving to second on a Monka walk. After Bast knocked home Majam with her second RBI single of the game, sophomore Amanda Mehrsheikh (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) entered to run for Monka at second. Back-to-back singles by Albanese and Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) followed to plate both Mehrsheikh and Bast, cutting the deficit down to one run, 5-4, before the top of the third came to a close.
The Badgers threatened again in the third, but the Wildcats put down the rally with an alert double play. With runners at second and third and one out, the batter hit a line drive to Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) in center. Scharkey caught the ball and noticed the runner at second had wandered too far off the bag. She ignored the runner tagging at third to instead double off the trail Badger and end the inning.
Both pitchers settled in for quick and quiet half innings until the fourth and fifth Northwestern errors of the game in the bottom of the fifth led to a quintet of unearned runs and a 10-4 Wisconsin lead.
Both Tonz and Allard recorded their second singles of the game in the top of the sixth, but two fielder's choice outs on the infield ended the Northwestern threat. In the bottom half, Wisconsin was able to plate the final two runs it needed to complete the 12-4 (6) victory.
At the plate, Tonz, Allard and Bast each recorded a pair of hits to pace NU while Bast knocked in two runs.
Lamberth (5-8) went 1.0-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and no walks to take the loss. Albanese gave up eight runs -- two earned -- in 4.0+ innings of relief. She surrendered 10 hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
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