April 8, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- No. 8 Northwestern clubbed a pair of home runs and scored in each of the first five innings Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader at Indiana, sweeping the day from the Hoosiers with a 5-1 win.
The win pushed Northwestern's overall record on the season to 31-7, 6-1 in the Big Ten. Indiana falls to 18-19 with the loss, 1-5 in the conference.
Northwestern struck first in the bottom of the first. Senior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) led off with a walk, then came all the way around to score when sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) smashed a double off the very top of the fence in left-center field.
The base knock extended Williams' current hitting streak to 24 games, officially the Northwestern all-time record for hits in consecutive contests.
Senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) then lined a ball back up the middle, but second baseman Sarah Padove dove and snared it. Padove's momentum carried her right into the second-base bag, where her glove touched the base to double up Williams.
Northwestern added another run in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) smacked a leadoff double down the line in left field, then was replaced by pinch runner Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley). Sophomore Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) followed with a single into left to move Lafever to third before Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) entered the game to run for Rigas.
Euler stole second, then senior Jessica Miller (Elberfeld, Ind./Techumseh) hit a soft liner toward short, where Emily Bergeson grabbed it on the short hop and elected to try and get Lafever returning to the bag at third. Lafever slid in safely, and Miller stood on first to load the bases with no outs on the fielder's choice.
One out later, junior Darcy Sengewald
(Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) worked a full-count walk to force in Lafever for a 2-0 Northwestern lead.
After breaking the Northwestern single-season record for home runs with her 15th of the year in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, Cooper added another to lead off the third inning and give the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.
Cooper now has 16 blasts this year and 48 for her career, leaving her just three shy of the all-time record for home runs in Big Ten history.
While Northwestern was putting up runs in each of the first three innings, freshman Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) was keeping Indiana off the board. Three batters reached base against her on two walks and a single through the first two innings, then she retired the side in order in the third before striking out the side in the fourth.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Sengewald dumped a soft fly ball into right field where it got by the dive of Jennifer Glueckert to allow Sengewald to race all the way to third for a triple. After Logan reached first on a fielder's choice that again saw a throw from Bergeson come to third, Williams advanced Logan to second with a groundout.
Cooper followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Sengewald and extend Northwestern's lead to four, 4-0. The RBI gave Cooper an even 50 on the season, two shy of the Wildcats' single-season record of 52 set by Jamie Dotson in 2005.
Delaney continued to rock in the circle, again striking out the side in the fifth to reach nine Ks for the game. At the conclusion of the fifth, she had set down 10 Hoosiers in a row.
Northwestern put a Yahtzee of ones on the scoreboard when Rigas went opposite field for a solo home run in the fifth. Rigas' fifth shot of the season gave the Wildcats' a 5-0 lead after scoring once in each of the first five innings.
Delaney set down the first two batters in the top of the sixth, then Jennilee Huddleston hit a solo home run to center to record Indiana's first run of the game and make the score 5-1. After the homer, a walk and a hit batter followed by a balk put runners at second and third, but Delaney caught the next batter looking for her 10th strikeout of the game to escape the inning.
Rigas finished 2-for-3 with a homer for the 'Cats. Cooper drove in two runs, while Williams and Erin Dyer both had doubles for NU.
The home runs by Cooper and Rigas in the game pushed Northwestern over the 50 mark as a team for the season. The Wildcats now have 51 homers this year, five shy of the single-season school mark of 56 set by the 2005 team.
Delaney earned the win to remain perfect on the year at 15-0, allowing one run on two hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts. Monica Wright (11-12) was saddled with the loss for Indiana.
Northwestern returns to action at 4 p.m. Friday, April 13, against Ohio State at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.