March 31, 2013
Box Score |
Watch: Minnesota Game 3 Highlights
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
Score: Northwestern 4, Minnesota 2
Records: NU (16-13, 2-3 Big Ten), Minnesota (21-12, 4-2 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: April 1, 2013 -- at UIC (Flames Field), 5 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After throwing a no-hitter in the opening game of Northwestern's series with Minnesota Friday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field, sophomore Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) picked up another win in the circle while homering at the plate in a 4-2 victory in Sunday's series finale.
The win improves NU to 16-13 overall on the season, 2-3 in the Big Ten while Minnesota now is 21-12 overall, 4-2 in the conference. The Wildcats took the series over the Gophers, 2-1.
Minnesota got runners to second and third with one out in the top of the first against Letourneau, but the sophomore fanned the next batter on three-straight pitches before inducing a weak dribbler to Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) at second to end the frame.
In the bottom of the inning, senior Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) led off with an infield single for the third-straight game against the Gophers then stole second. Later on, with two outs and Scharkey at third, Letourneau smashed a ball into the wind, over the fence and onto the batting cages beyond center field for an early 2-0 Northwestern lead. The shot was Letourneau's second of the weekend, fifth of the season and 13th of her career.
The leadoff Gopher in the top of the second fisted a jam-shot single into left field to account for the first hit allowed by Letourneau in 10 innings dating to the sixth frame of a contest at No. 25 Nebraska on March 22. Two hits later, one run came home but Scharkey made a tremendous throw from center to Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) at the plate to nail the trail runner and keep Northwestern on top, 2-1.
NU got that run back right away in the bottom of the second. LeBeau led off with a solid single to left before moving to second on a Tonz sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Scharkey shot her second hit of the game up the middle to bring LeBeau around for a 3-1 Wildcats' edge going into the third frame.
The Gophers threatened again in the top of the third, getting two leadoff walks to second and third with two outs before Letourneau fanned the next batter to end the frame.
Northwestern matched Minnesota's top of the frame with two leadoff walks issued by Gopher starter Sara Moulton to Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) and Letourneau. Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) then blasted a single into left that brought Bast to the plate to give the Wildcats a 4-1 advantage.
Though Northwestern failed to score in the fourth after plating at least one run in each of the first three, it threatened enough that Minnesota lifted Moulton from the circle in favor of Kelsey Kimminau to start the fifth. The move marked the third time in the series that the Wildcats knocked the Gophers' ace from the circle. Letourneau worked her second walk of the game in that fifth frame for NU, but Kimminau was able to keep the 'Cats off the scoreboard.
The Gophers held Northwestern in check after the third inning, but by then the NU lead was enough. Minnesota loaded the bases and got one run in the top of the seventh on a passed ball before Letourneau fanned the final two batters to end the game.
Letourneau (10-7) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and eight walks with five strikeouts in the contest. At the plate, she led NU with two RBIs and two walks while Scharkey had two base hits.
Northwestern is right back in action with a pair of nonconference games, beginning at 5 p.m. CT tomorrow, Monday, April 1, at UIC before returning home to face Loyola (Chicago) at 4 p.m. CT Tuesday, April 2, at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
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