April 2, 2014
No. 23 Northwestern 14, UIC 7
Evanston, Ill. Sharon J. Drysdale Field
Box Score | Box Score
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 23 Northwestern jumped all over UIC Wednesday in a nonconference contest at Sharon J. Drysdale Field, scoring a program record 12 runs in the first inning en route to a 14-7 win.
Northwestern improves to 20-8 overall on the season with its win while UIC falls to 6-14 on the year with its loss.
UIC went ahead early, 2-0, in the top of the first with a one-out single followed by a home run that rode the wind into left field before bouncing off the very top of the fence and over.
Northwestern's prolific offense responded by mounting the largest rally ever mounted in a single inning in program history. The Wildcats batted around twice in the bottom of the first, sending 18 batters to the plate and scoring 12 runs to break the previous school mark of 11 set earlier this season against Boise State on Feb. 8.
Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off with a single before back-to-back walks to Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) and Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) loaded the bases. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) drove in Allard and Majam with a double to left, then, after a throwing error allowed Bast to scamper home, Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) doubled to make it a 4-2 score.
After Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) entered to pinch run for Edwards, Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) reached base on a fielder's choice when the throw attempting to catch the lead runner Williams too far off second went wanting. Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) then smashed a three-run home run to left to put the Wildcats on top, 7-2.
LeBeau's LeBomb was her team-leading sixth of the year and it knocked UIC starter Bridget Boyle from the circle in favor of Alice Fitzgerald.
NU's inning continued when Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) reached on an error and Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana) drew a walk. Both moved up a bag when an Allard grounder to second went for the first out of the inning after the 10th plate appearance, then Majam struck a two-run single to center. The bases loaded up again on a Bast 16-pitch (!!) walk and a more traditional six-pitch DiPrima walk. Williams, who entered the game earlier in the inning as a pinch runner, drove a single to right where it was misplayed for an error to clear the bases and make it a 12-2 game with Williams ending up at third.
UIC then brought its third pitcher of the inning into the game, and she immediately plunked Filler but eventually stranded three Wildcats on base when she ended the inning with the score still at 12-2.
Allard led off the bottom of the second with a rocket to left that bounced in and out of the breadbasket of the left fielder for a two-base error. Majam followed with a walk, then both moved up on two wild pitches, with the second bringing Allard home to make the score 13-2 heading into the third.
The Flames got another two-run home run in the top of third in nearly identical fashion to their first of the game, cutting the Wildcats lead to 13-4.
Northwestern got right back on the scoring train in the bottom of the third, beginning with a leadoff Filler triple to right. Two outs later, Strub drilled a single into left field for a 14-4 mark on the scoreboard.
With the score the same after a scoreless fourth for both sides -- including a 1-2-3 top half for NU starting pitcher Nicole Bond (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) -- Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) entered the circle in relief for Northwestern to try and nail down the run-rule win. A couple of errors on batted balls from the first two Flames before a one-out hit by pitch loaded the bases. Three runs would come in before Wood ended the frame, earning UIC a reprieve from the run-rule.
LeBeau led off the bottom of the fifth with a double just inside the paint in right field, then moved to third on a Tonz sacrifice bunt but NU could not get the game-winning RBI in that frame. The same repeated itself in the sixth when Majam led off with a walk, DiPrima had a one-out single and then the Wildcats again could not find the game-ender.
Wood allowed only a two-out walk in the top of the seventh to finish off the victory from the circle to earn a three-inning save.
Every slot in the Northwestern order scored at least one run in the game with each of the first four batters in the lineup finding home twice.
Bond (2-0) earned the win in the circle, allowing four runs on four hits and no walks with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings. Wood tossed 3.0 frames, allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
Northwestern hits the road for a Big Ten series this weekend at Iowa with all three games scheduled to be broadcast on the Big Ten Digital Network.
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