April 20, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -- In the final regular-season home game of her career, senior Courtnay Foster (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) nearly was untouchable. She gave up just a third-inning, infield bunt single en route to the 10th one-hitter of her career and an 8-0, five-inning win over Loyola (Ill.) Thursday afternoon at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
Foster fanned nine batters and allowed just one walk to notch the 26th shutout of her career. She improves to 17-5 on the year with the win.
The Wildcats now are 31-10 on the season, while the Ramblers fall to 11-34.
To support Foster's sparkling day in the circle, Northwestern's batters got to work right away. Junior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) drew a leadoff walk in the first inning, but was erased on a fielder's choice from freshman Tammy Williams (El Dorado Springs, Mo./Osceola). Junior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) drew a walk of her own to put runners on first and second with one out.
Senior Jamie Dotson (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) followed with a single up the middle to load the bases, and senior Kristen Amegin (West Sacramento, Calif./Elk Grove) drove home Williams with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Wildcats the early 1-0 lead.
Northwestern added some more offense in the bottom of the third. With one out, Williams hit a hard, low line drive that got out of the park so fast, it barely had time to clear the fence for a 2-0 NU advantage.
With two outs in the frame, Dotson laced a double into left-center, then was replaced on the base paths by freshman Ann Schraufnagel
(Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). Amegin followed with a rocket right at Nora Schober at short that took a wicked hop and hit her in the face before rolling away. Schraufnagel came around to score on the single, and Schober came out of the game.
Still with two outs, senior Sheila McCorkle (Costa Mesa, Calif./Mater Dei) reached on an infield single -- her second hit of the game -- to put runners on first and second. Freshman Gina Gonzalez (LaVerne, Calif./Buena) replaced Amegin as a pinch runner. Freshman Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) then stroked a single into center to score Gonzalez from second and give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Williams continued to punish the ball in the bottom of the fourth, lofting her second home run of the game over the center-field fence to push the NU lead to five, 5-0. She now has 11 home runs on the season and two multi-homer games this year.
In the fifth, Northwestern continued to display its power at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Amegin drew a leadoff walk, then one out later pinch-hitter Jessica Miller (Elberfeld, Ind./Techumseh) launched her first home run of the season over the centerfield fence to make it a 7-0 game.
In their 10 home games of 2006, the Wildcats blasted 21 home runs -- averaging more than two homers per game.
With the bases empty, senior Ashley Crane (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake) blooped a single into right field, then advanced to second a couple of pitches later when the Loyola catcher airmailed her throw back to the pitcher into center field.
Freshman Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) then drove in Crane with her first-career base knock, a double down the left-field line, to end the game in five innings, 8-0.
Northwestern was just plain dominant in Evanston this season, outscoring its opponents 84-9 in its 10 home contests.
Williams finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. The effort was her third three-run game of the year. Dotson was a perfect 2-for-2, while McCorkle also collected a pair of hits. Miller and Amegin both drove in two runs for the 'Cats.
Northwestern returns to action at noon CT Sunday, April 23, for a Big Ten doubleheader at Minnesota.