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    Northwestern Walks Off on Iowa in Run-Rule Fashion, 11-3 (5)

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Junior Paige Tonz launched the second home run of her career Sunday in the fourth inning against Iowa.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Junior Paige Tonz launched the second home run of her career Sunday in the fourth inning against Iowa.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    April 14, 2013

    Box Score

    Watch: Iowa Game Three Highlights

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
    Score: Northwestern 11, Iowa 3 (5)
    Records: NU (21-16, 6-5 B1G), Iowa (24-16, 4-8 B1G)
    Next NU Event: April 16, 2013 -- vs. Northern Illinois (Sharon J. Drysdale Field), 4 p.m. CT

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern plated four runs in the first and six more in the fifth inning Sunday in the finale of its series against Iowa at Sharon J. Drysdale Field, earning its fourth run-rule victory in its last seven games, 11-3 (5).

    Northwestern now is 21-16 overall on the season after its victory, 6-5 in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa falls to 24-16 on the year with its loss, 4-8 in the B1G.

    In a series that featured innings with three or more runs from either team a combined seven times entering Sunday, Northwestern opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a four-spot. After Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) was robbed of extra bases with a stabbing catch on a liner in left to lead off the frame, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Esperanza) drew a walk. Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) then crushed a double off the base of the fence in center to bring Majam all the way around.

    The inning continued when pitcher Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) was issued a walk, then Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) lofted a deep fly ball to left where the fielder backed up against the barrier only to see it bounce off the fence and down for a long run-scoring single. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) got in on the fence assaulting action with a double that brought Letourneau in, then Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) drove in one more with an RBI groundout to give the Wildcats a 4-0 edge going to the second inning.

    Iowa Game Three Highlights

    Iowa loaded the bags with two outs in the top of the third before plating a pair on a single to cut NU's lead in half, 4-2. The Hawkeyes attempted to add to their total in the fourth when, with two on and two out, a batter hit a ball with home run distance barely foul. On the very next pitch, Letourneau fanned the batter looking for her sixth K of the game.

    After 10-straight Wildcats were retired dating to the first inning, Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) put a charge into the crowd. With two outs in the fourth, Tonz smoked a ball to the opposite field that bounced off the very top of the fence and over for the junior's second home run of the season and of her career. The shot put the 'Cats up 5-2 in the game.

    Iowa regained that run in the top of the fifth on a two-out Northwestern error before the Wildcats struck back with fury. Scharkey and Majam led off the fifth with singles before Bast huffed and puffed and blew Welsh-Ryan Arena down with an incredibly hard-hit home run over the scoreboard and off the building's wall to put NU on top 8-3. Bast's shot was her 11th of the season and the 29th of her career.

    The inning continued with Letourneau and Edwards hit by pitches before a bases-loading walk to DiPrima. At that point, Iowa lifted its starting pitcher Chelsea Lyon in favor of Micaela Whitney. The Hawkeyes forced two hard grounders from the next two Wildcats that resulted in outs at the plate. A third grounder off the bat of Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) was handled at short, but the short throw to third was mishandled for an error, allowing pinch runner Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) to score to make it a 9-3 game.

    Scharkey then stroked a single back through the middle to plate LeBeau and Tonz with a great slide around a tag attempt to end the game early, 11-3 (5).

    Letourneau (14-9) earned the complete-game win, going 5.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks with nine strikeouts.

    Bast had a 2-for-3 day with four RBIs and two runs scored. Scharkey had two hits and two RBIs and Majam and Tonz each scored twice.

    Northwestern concludes its current 12-game homestand at 4 p.m. CT Tuesday, April 16, when it hosts Northern Illinois at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.

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