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    No. 25 Northwestern Holds Off Indiana, 4-2

    April 19, 2014

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    Northwestern No. 25 Northwestern 4, Indiana 2
    Evanston, Ill. • Sharon J. Drysdale Field

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 25 Northwestern built a 4-0 lead Saturday against Indiana in front of a raucous crowd at Sharon J. Drysdale Field before holding off a late Hoosiers charge to win, 4-2.

    Northwestern improves to 26-11 overall with its victory, 8-6 in the Big Ten. Indiana now is 13-32-1 on the season with Saturday's loss and falls to 4-12 in the conference. The Wildcats will go for the sweep in the series at noon CT tomorrow, Sunday, April 20. The Easter bunny will be on hand with a number of holiday activities for the kids, so make it a family affair at The "J!"

    Indiana both lived and died by the nastiness of Northwestern freshman starter Nicole Bond's (Clayton, N.C./Clayton) stuff in the first inning on Saturday. After narrowly walking the leadoff batter on a full-count pitch, Bond got two strikeouts, but the second came on her second wild pitch of the frame to put runners at the corners. Later, with those runners at second and third, Bond fanned two more for a rare four strikeout inning.

    That top of the first performance accounted for two-thirds of Bond's previous single-game strikeout high of six entering Saturday's game.

    In the bottom of the first, newly minted Roof Club member Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) put Northwestern on top, 1-0, with a solo home run onto the netting of the batting cages beyond center field. Bast's shot was her second of the weekend after blasting a ball onto the roof of McGaw Hall Friday, her sixth of the season and the 36th of her career.

    Bond kept the score the same through 2.5 frames, helped by single strikeouts in each of the second and third innings to match her previous single-game high of six Ks through just 3.0 inning of work.

    Northwestern tacked three runs onto its lead in the bottom of the third via a two-out sequence featuring three-straight doubles. Bast drew a two-out walk to start the rally, then came all the way around to score from first when Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) hit her team-leading 10th double to left. Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) and Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) followed with doubles of their own to make NU's lead 4-0 and force Murphy from the circle. Indiana's reliever, Brooke Boetjer, was able to escape the inning with no further doubles (or runs).

    Bond then worked as shutdown an inning as is possible by rule, needing just three pitches to retire the Indiana side in order in the top of the fourth.

    The score remained the same in the bottom of the fifth when Northwestern poured on the pressure, but Indiana showed resolve. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) led off with an infield single after being absolutely robbed twice earlier in the game on two hard line drives to Shelby Gogreve at third. Bast shot a single into left to move Majam to second, but then was erased on a DiPrima fielder's choice grounder that left runners at the corners. Edwards quickly filled the vacancy on base with a four-pitch walk.

    LeBeau followed with a line drive that was caught with a leap at short before a strikeout kept the Wildcats' lead at 4-0 to the sixth, where Indiana broke through for the first time in the series. The Hoosiers turned three singles into two runs on a two-out bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch to cut NU's lead in half, 4-2.

    The Wildcats were unable to add to their total in the bottom of the sixth, but Bond came out much more assertive in the seventh to shut the door despite a two-out NU error.

    Bond (4-0) remained perfect on the year with her win, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks with a season-best eight strikeouts in her complete-game effort.

    Edwards was 1-for-1 with two walks in the game and has yet to be put out once by Indiana after a 3-for-3 day Friday. Bast finished 2-for-2 Saturday with a home run and two runs scored to also help lead the Wildcats offense.

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