April 5, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- No. 23 Northwestern scored runs in each of the final three innings of the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at Iowa to make a great pitching performance from freshman Nicole Bond (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) stand up in a 4-1 Wildcats victory.
Northwestern now is 22-8 overall on the year, 5-3 in the Big Ten after its Saturday sweep. Iowa falls to 9-18 this season after Saturday's action, 4-4 in the conference. The Wildcats and Hawkeyes will conclude their three-game set at 1 p.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, April 6.
Bond needed just 98 pitches to get through her complete game. She scattered five hits and two walks with five strikeouts to move to 3-0 on the season.
Iowa began the scoring in game two Saturday afternoon with a run in the bottom of the second against Northwestern starter Bond, but Wildcats catcher Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) had her freshman hurler's back when she evened the score immediately in the top of the third with an RBI triple that plated leadoff walk earner Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards).
With runs at a premium in a pitcher's duel between NU freshman Bond and Iowa redshirt freshman Shayla Starkenburg, the Wildcats punched another score across to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) drew a one-out walk and gave way to pinch runner Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley), who moved to second when Tonz lasered a single into center. Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) then chopped a single high off the infield dirt and into center to allow Williams to speed around to the plate.
Iowa put runners on here and there against Bond through the middle innings, but the freshman escaped with poise each time. She worked around a one-out walk in the fourth by striking out a pair in the inning, and then negated an infield single in the fifth with an easy ground ball out.
NU took advantage of Bond's work to extend its lead in the sixth. DiPrima walked for the third time in the game with one gone in the frame but was erased on an incredible Iowa defensive play on an Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) ball bound for center. Edwards reached on the fielder's choice and moved to second when Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) was hit by a pitch. LeBeau then singled back through the middle to send Edwards home for a 3-1 NU edge.
The inning continued when Kuhn worked a bases-loading full-count walk, but Iowa's first baseman kept the Hawkeyes' great defense in the game going when she sank to her knees to glove a Tonz line drive and keep NU's lead at just 3-1.
After stranding base runners in the several preceding innings, Bond didn't have time for that in the bottom of the sixth. She needed very few pitches to work a 1-2-3 inning and preserve Northwestern's momentum to the seventh, where the Wildcats added insurance.
Allard led off the frame with her second base hit of the game and moved to second when the throw to first that she beat went out of play for an error. Majam then hit a grounder to third, and the fielder turned her attention to Allard who was dancing with the stars off second base. The fielder threw behind Allard in time to get her, but the ball was dropped allowing everyone to be safe on the second Iowa error of the inning. After a Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) groundout moved both runners up a base, DiPrima lifted a single to shallow left to drive home Allard and give Bond a 4-1 edge heading into the bottom of the seventh.
There, Bond worked around a two-out hit by pitch to complete her strong afternoon in the circle.
Allard had two hits for the second game in a row while Tonz had two base hits including her triple. DiPrima walked three times and collected an RBI single.
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