April 6, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 15 Northwestern launched four home runs and sophomore Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) pitched her second shutout of the day Sunday for a 6-0 Wildcats' win in the second game of a doubleheader at No. 24 Ohio State.
The win keeps Northwestern the lone undefeated team in the Big Ten with a 6-0 conference mark, while improving the Wildcats to 20-9 on the season. Ohio State falls to 23-14 overall, 2-6 in the league with its loss.
Game two began as a pitcher's duel between Delaney and Ohio State's Megan Miller (5-3). The Buckeyes got a bunt single with one out in the bottom of the first to record their first base hit of the day against Delaney, who no-hit OSU in a 7-0 NU victory in the front end of the double-dip.
In game two, Delaney fanned 14 Buckeyes and allowed three hits and two walks with two hit batters to record her eighth shutout of the season. The win upped her record to 18-6 on the season.
Neither team scored in the game until Northwestern broke through for three in the top of the fourth. Junior Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) bounced a one-out single up the middle before freshman Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) sent a soaring pop up into a light breeze to left-center field that kept drifting and drifting and...drifting until it hit the top of the wall and bounced over for a two-run home run.
The four-bagger was Batts' third of the week and seventh of the season, tying her with Williams for the team lead.
One out later, junior Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) got in on the action with a much more violent solo home run, this one clearing the fence in nearly the same spot as Batts' blast to make the score 3-0. Dyer's homer was her fourth in the last two weeks and her sixth of the season. She ranks fourth in school history with 22 career home runs.
Ohio State put runners on first and third with two outs on a hit by pitch and a single in the bottom of the fourth for its most serious threat of the day, but Delaney got her seventh strikeout of the game to end the inning.
Homer's heroes continued for the 'Cats in the top of the fifth, with freshman Kelly Quinn (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) driving the first pitch she saw from Miller over the wall in right center to make the score 4-0. Quinn's home run was her third of the season.
Delaney continued to get stronger the more innings she got under her belt in the doubleheader, striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth to reach 10 K's for the game.
Keeping with the theme of game two, sophomore Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) led off the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run over the wall in left for her fourth home run of the season to give NU a 5-0 lead. Pauly now has 18-career homers, tying her with Karen Lemke (1982-85) for sixth in Wildcats' history.
Later in the inning, sophomore Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) reached base on an error, moving to second on a groundout by Quinn. Sophomore pinch hitter Emily Haug (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) then singled through the right side of the infield to drive in Dyer and make the score 6-0. The run was NU's first in the game that did not come courtesy of a long ball.
Williams was 2-for-4 for NU in the game while Batts drove in a pair.
Northwestern returns to action at 6 p.m. CT Friday, April 11, at Illinois in its Big Ten Network debut.