April 2, 2011
Box Score |
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
Score: Northwestern 6, Loyola (Chicago) 0
Records: NU (15-9), Loyola (Chicago) (12-11)
Next NU Event: Saturday, April 2 -- vs. Loyola (Chicago) (Drysdale Field), Immediately
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Jessica Smith (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) pitched an absolute gem Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader against Loyola (Chicago) at Sharon J. Drysdale Field, fanning a career-best 12 and allowing just two hits in a 6-0 Wildcats' victory.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 15-9 overall on the season. The victory is No. 999 in NU history. Loyola (Chicago) falls to 12-11 on the year with its loss.
Smith (5-6) blew away her foes, allowing only two base runners the entire game. Both were erased to end innings: one was caught trying to steal while the other was erased on an inning-ending twin killing. Her previous strikeout high was nine, set twice earlier in the 2011 season.
After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning for Smith, Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) drove the first pitch she saw in the bottom half into left field for a leadoff single. With Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) at the plate, Allard stole both second and third. One out later, Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) drove a grounder off the shins of the pitcher and into left field for a run-scoring single and a 1-0 Northwestern lead.
In the top of the second, Smith allowed a one-out base hit to the Ramblers, but she fanned a pair of batters and catcher Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) threw out the base runner trying to steal to end the frame.
Northwestern added a run in the bottom of the second. Kelly Quinn (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) continued her hot hitting of late with a leadoff single to left before moving to second on a great sacrifice bunt by Tonz. NU loaded the bases on back-to-back fielder's choice grounders from Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) and Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) when the Ramblers were unable to get outs on either play. Allard then shot a single into center that scored Quinn, but Wheeler was thrown out at the plate to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead going into the third.
Smith continued to cruise in the circle for NU, setting the Loyola side down in order in the third and fourth to reach seven strikeouts in the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Wheeler led off with a sharp single to center before Scharkey reached base after an error on her sacrifice attempt. The error put runners at second and third, then Loyola was able to erase Wheeler at the plate on an Allard ground ball. Nearly the identical play happened on a ball off the bat of Thompson, but the catcher lost the ball when she tagged Scharkey to allow the sophomore to score on the error.
NU would add another run on an RBI groundout from Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) and a third when Quinn was hit by a two-out pitch to take a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning.
Loyola got only its second base runner of the game on base via a one-out single in the fifth, but Smith induced an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play grounder that scooted under her glove to Allard standing on the base at second. Smith allowed no base runners at all in the sixth, instead striking out the side to reach a career-high 11 through six innings of work.
In the bottom of the sixth, Monka annihilated a one-out offering that hung up in the wind blowing in from center just long enough to fall beyond the fence and beyond the reach of a leaping center fielder to push NU's advantage to 6-0. Monka's shot was her eighth of the season and the 39th of her career.
Smith then came out to finish off her gem, fanning one more while setting the side down in order.
Monka led NU at the plate with a 2-for-2 effort including two walks. Quinn was 2-for-3 while Allard finished 2-for-4 with three steals, two runs scored and an RBI.
Northwestern returns to action immediately in the second game of its doubleheader against Loyola (Chicago) at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
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