April 15, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Freshman Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) drove in seven runs including a fourth-inning grand slam to lead a Northwestern offensive explosion in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday versus No. 23 Iowa, helping No. 10 NU to a 16-5, five-inning run-rule win.
The win improves Northwestern to 25-8 overall on the year, 11-1 in the conference. Iowa falls to 33-11 on the season, 5-5 in the conference with its loss. The Wildcats now are 8-5 on the 2009 campaign against ranked opponents, and have won 27 regular-season games at home in a row dating back to their last loss in Evanston exactly two years ago on April 15, 2007.
Iowa grabbed the game's first lead in the top of the first, taking advantage of an NU error to plate a run on an RBI triple.
Northwestern came right back in the bottom half of the frame, exploding for six runs on four hits. Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) led off with a double to the fence in left before moving to third on a productive groundout by Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola). Monka then ripped a single back up the middle to plate Thompson and knot the game, 1-1.
Both Michelle Batts (Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) and Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) followed with walks from Iowa starter Amanda Zust, who then was removed from the circle in favor of game one starter Brittany Weil after the first pitch to Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) also went for a ball. Pinch runner Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) replaced Monka on the base paths during the sequence.
Dyer welcomed Weil with a whack into left center for a bases-clearing double, then Kelly Dyer
(Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) upped her sister by two bags with a two-run homer to right to make the lead five, 6-1. Kelly's home run was her eighth of the season and the 16th of her career.
Iowa put runners at first and second with one out in the top of the third before Thompson turned a nifty double play. A hard grounder to third pulled Thompson a step to her left. She wheeled and sprinted to third for the force before firing to first to get the batter-runner and complete the inning-ending twin killing.
In the bottom of the third, Northwestern struck for six more runs. Pauly drew a walk to lead off the inning before Erin Dyer reach on an error. Weil then hit Kelly Dyer and Quinn with pitches in back-to-back at bats to force in Pauly and make the score 7-1. Iowa elected to bring game two starter Zust back into the circle, and Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) responded with an RBI single up the middle to score Erin Dyer. Pinch hitter Emily Haug (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) drove in Kelly Dyer with a sacrifice fly to push the game into run-rule territory, 9-1.
Williams then was hit by a Zust pitch to load the bases before Monka ripped a single into left that got through the left fielder for an error, clearing the bases again to make NU's advantage 11, 12-1.
Iowa got a pair of runs back in the top of the fourth after a walk and a single were converted on a sacrifice fly and wild pitch later on in the frame, cutting NU's lead to nine, 12-3.
Northwestern loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth on an Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) hit, a Thompson single and an error on a batted ball from Williams. Monka then unloaded the bases with a grand slam, her second home run of the doubleheader and her 12th of the season. Combined with her three RBIs from game one, Monka finished the day with 10 RBIs versus the Hawkeyes.
Iowa tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two-run home run, but it was not enough to stave off NU's run-rule victory.
Monka was a perfect 4-for-4 in the game with the seven RBIs, becoming the fifth Wildcat to record four hits in a game this season. Thompson was 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Williams, Pauly, Erin Dyer and Kelly Dyer all scored twice. Erin Dyer drove in three and Kelly Dyer knocked in a pair.
Delaney moved to 11-1 in Big Ten play and 24-7 overall on the season with the complete-game win, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and six walks with four strikeouts.
Northwestern returns to action at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 16, at Loyola (Chicago).