April 16, 2014
CHICAGO -- No. 25 Northwestern sophomore Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) allowed just three balls to be put in play over Wednesday's entire game at Loyola (Chicago) while firing her second no-hitter of the season in an 8-0 (5) Wildcats win.
Northwestern improves to 24-11 overall with its victory; Loyola (Chicago) now is 16-24 with its loss.
Wood fanned a career-best 12 in her 5.0 innings of action, allowing just two base runners on a pair of walks. She fanned the side in the first, second and third innings while recording two Ks in the fourth and one more in the fifth. Wood improves to 13-5 on the season with her victory. Her other no-no in 2014 came March 8 against LIU Brooklyn at the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla.
The no-hitter is the 48th in Northwestern softball history.
Northwestern took the early lead Wednesday with a run in the top of the first. With one out, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) slapped a single into center and took second when the throw back to the infield went awry for an error. Then, with two outs, Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) ripped a double into center that brought Majam in for a 1-0 NU edge.
Wood started the game is as good a fashion as possible, striking out the Loyola (Chicago) side in the bottom of the first.
Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) led off the top of the second with a solo home run deep over the fence in right field to give her a team-best seven on the year. The inning continued immediately after when Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and Andrea Filler (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) both followed with line-drive singles. After a well-turned double play from the Ramblers left Filler at second with two outs, Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) singled back through the middle to bring her home and give the Wildcats a 3-0 edge to the bottom of the frame.
Wood continued to send balls by bats in the second and third, working around just one blemish in the form of a leadoff walk in the second frame while striking out the side again and again.
In the top of the fourth, Filler brought home LeBeau for NU's fourth run of the contest. LeBeau led off the frame with a single, stole second, moved to third on a Tonz groundout and then trotted home with Filler's second single of the game.
Loyola finally got a ball in the play against Wood to start the bottom of the fourth, and Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) fielded the resulting tricky hop at short with aplomb. Wood then fanned the next two Ramblers to match her career-high for Ks in a game with 11.
Loyola (Chicago) made a pitching change to start the top of the fifth and Northwestern greeted her rudely with four runs to send the contest into run-rule territory. Allard began the inning with a four-pitch walk and stole second base. Majam followed with a four-pitch walk of her own and also stole second after Allard moved to third on a wild pitch during the former's plate appearance. Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) drove home Allard with a single, then stole second and drew a wild throw that allowed Majam to score as well.
The inning continued with a DiPrima single driving in Bast. Krista Williams (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) entered to run for DiPrima, stole second and moved to third when the throw on the play again got away for an error. Williams then came in on LeBeau's third base hit of the ball game, concluding NU's scoring with an 8-0 tally.
Wood then took the circle and got a pop out to herself, her 12th K of the game and a little flare to Bast at third to complete the no-no.
LeBeau led NU at the plate with a 3-for-3 day including her home run, driving in two and scoring twice. DiPrima was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Filler was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI, and Majam scored twice.
Northwestern returns to action April 18-20 hosting Indiana in Big Ten action at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
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