April 8, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- No. 18 Northwestern's potent offense slapped six runs on Minnesota in the sixth inning Friday night at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, powering the Wildcats to a 7-4 win over the Golden Gophers.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 23-9 overall, 5-0 in the Big Ten. Minnesota falls to 18-17, 1-4 in the Conference.
In the second inning, the Wildcats mounted a two-out rally to put the game's first run on the board. Freshman Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) rapped a double into the gap in right field and scored on sophomore Katie Logan's (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) single up the middle.
Sophomore Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) again was a force in the circle, breezing through the first four innings in perfect style, evoking memories of her perfect game last week against Illinois.
Minnesota broke through in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of singles. A nice play by shortstop Churchwell nailed Gopher catcher Megan Higginbotham trying to score on a grounder to keep UM scoreless, but a single from the next batter knotted the score at 1-1.
The Wildcats struck back in the top half of the sixth, big time. Northwestern rapped out five hits and took advantage of two UM errors to hang a six spot in the inning and take a 7-1 lead.
Freshman Kelly Odell (Portland, Ore./Westview) led off with a single up the middle, then advanced to second when Sengewald reached on an error by the second baseman. Logan moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, then Churchwell laced a line-drive single that bounced away from a diving shortstop to score Odell and put NU back in the lead, 2-1.
Mobley followed with a ball hit so hard off the wall in center field, she only had time to record a single. Sengewald scored, Churchwell advanced to third on the play and Mobley reached second on the throw home.
Cooper drew a walk to load the bases, and Dotson cleared them with her 12th double of the season to put the Wildcats up by five, 6-1. Junior Ashley Crane (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake) entered the game to pinch run for Dotson and moved to third on a groundout by junior Kristen Amegin (Sacramento, Calif./Elk Grove). Junior Sheila McCorkle (Costa Mesa, Calif./Mater Dei) brought Crane home with a double down the left-field line and NU led 7-1.
With the Wildcats having batted around in the inning, sophomore Megan Hinck (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) pinch hit for Odell, reaching base and advancing McCorkle to third on an error by the shortstop, but the inning would end there.
Minnesota added three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but junior Courtnay Foster (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) came in to shut the door on the Gophers. Foster whiffed the final three UM batters of the game to earn her second save of the season.
Eight Wildcats earned hits in the game. Churchwell finished the game 3-for-4 with a trio of singles. Sengewald scored a pair of runs for NU. Cooper, who doubled in the first inning, drew three walks. As a team, Northwestern finished with seven free passes.
Canney (13-4) earned the win, allowing four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work. Lyn Peyer took the loss for the Gophers, evening her record at 10-10.
Northwestern and Minnesota face off in the second game of the series beginning at noon Saturday, April 9.