April 18, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- No. 10 Northwestern hit the ball hard and junior Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) fired a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts, but a pair of Purdue runs on wild pitches in the fourth inning gave the Boilermakers a 2-0 win over the Wildcats in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader.
The loss drops Northwestern to 26-9 overall on the season, 11-2 in the Big Ten. Purdue now is 23-15 on the year, 6-5 in the conference.
Freshman Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) ripped a two-out single in the top of the first to give her base hits in her last eight-consecutive at-bats. The streak surpassed the NU school record of seven previously set by Stephanie Churchwell in 2005.
Although NU had runners in the next two frames (on a walk to Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) in the second and a base hit from Kelly Quinn (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook) in the third), it took until the bottom of the third for either team to put together a threat involving more than one base runner. Purdue got a single to start the third before another runner joined the leadoff Boiler on base with one out. A passed ball moved both runners up a bag before Delaney fanned the next two batters to end the inning.
Monka led off the top of the fourth with a deep fly ball to dead center where it was caught on the warning track to end her string of consecutive hits at eight, tied for ninth longest in NCAA Division I history. Monka's streak began with her 4-for-4 performance Wednesday in the second game of a doubleheader against No. 23 Iowa before continuing Thursday in a 3-for-3 effort at Loyola (Chicago). She hit five singles, a double and two home runs, raising her average from .329 to .387 during the streak.
(Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North) followed Monka with a laser-beam single into right for NU's third hit of the game off Purdue starter Dana Alcocer. Pinch runner Aly Euler
(River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) replaced Batts at first but did not advance in the remainder of the inning.
Purdue found the scoreboard for the game's only runs in the bottom of the fourth. Again the Boilermakers put runners at second and third with one out, and again Delaney got a whiff for the second out in the frame. A wild pitch to the next batter allowed the runner at third to score, however, giving the Boilermakers a 1-0 lead. After a walk, another wild pitch gave Purdue a 2-0 lead, with catcher Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) firing to Robin Thompson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King) at third to end the inning when the runner at first got greedy and tried to take an extra bag on the play.
Northwestern continued to hit BBs off Alcocer in the top of the sixth but to no avail. Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) led off with a shot to first that the fielder lunged for and gloved as she stepped on first simultaneously for the out. After Monka laced her second single of the game into right, Batts followed with another rocket to first that the fielder was able to go to her knees to corral, firing to second to get the lead runner on the fielder's choice. Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) then was hit by a pitch, but the centerfielder was in perfect position to catch Erin Dyer's diving line drive into center to end the inning.
Purdue put its first two batters to the plate in the sixth on via a walk and a fielder's choice bunt before Delaney fanned the next two Boilers to reach 10 Ks in the game. The final out came via a routine 4-3 groundout.
Kelly Dyer opened the top of the seventh with a good at-bat, fouling off several pitches and working a full count before grounding out on a sharp two-hopper to third. A strikeout and another grounder to third concluded the game.
Monka led NU at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance. Delaney (24-8) took the loss after allowing two runs on just one hit with six walks and 10 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.