April 21, 2007
MADISON, Wis. -- No. 8 Northwestern scored five runs in the fourth inning Saturday afternoon at Goodman Diamond, sweeping its series against Wisconsin with a 6-2 win in the second game between the teams this year.
The win improves Northwestern's overall record to 35-10 on the year, 10-3 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin falls to 24-15 with the loss, 5-7 in the conference.
Northwestern put together a rally early in the game against Wisconsin starter Eden Brock, who also pitched the Friday matchup between the teams. With one out, sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) doubled over the head of the left fielder, then Brock sent Cooper to first base on a four-pitch walk. Freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) followed with a hard-hit grounder, but it went right to the third baseman, who stepped on third before firing to first for a double play to quash the NU threat.
The Wildcats pushed across a run in the bottom of the third to take the first lead of the game. Junior Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) led off the inning with a single back up the middle before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol).
Williams then clubbed the exact same double she hit in the first inning to drive in Sengewald from second and give the 'Cats a 1-0 lead. Wisconsin was able to limit the damage in the inning to that single run, thanks in part to a great catch by centerfielder Sam Polito. Senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) followed Williams' double with a crushed line drive to dead center that Polito jumped and waved at as it flew over her head, stabbing it with her glove to retire Cooper.
Northwestern broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, sophomore Jessica Rigas
(River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) hit a hard grounder to third that was ruled an error, then was replaced at first by freshman Aly Euler
(River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). Senior Jessica Miller
(Elberfeld, Ind./Techumseh) moved Euler up a bag with a sacrifice bunt, then freshman Kelly Dyer
(Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) singled through the left side to score Euler for a 2-0 NU lead. Dyer moved up to second on the throw home.
Sengewald drove Dyer in with a single into center, then Wisconsin elected to replace Brock (13-9) in the circle with Letty Olivarez. Logan greeted Olivarez by spanking the first pitch she threw over the fence in center field to extend the Wildcats' lead to five, 5-0.
The blast was Logan's second of the season and the third of her career. All nine of Northwestern's regular offensive starters now have at least two dingers this year.
The Wildcats continued to get to the new pitcher, with Williams reaching on a walk before Cooper singled back up the middle. A walk to Pauly loaded the bases, and the Badgers pulled Olivarez in favor of Leah Vanevenhoven. Sophomore Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) drew a walk to force in Williams before Vanevenhoven retired the final batter of the inning with the score 6-0.
Wisconsin struck back for a run in the top of the fifth inning. Two walks and a single against NU starter Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) loaded the bases, then a single back up the middle plated a run to cut the Wildcats' lead to five, 6-1. Delaney then notched a strikeout and a groundout to end the frame without further damage.
The Wildcats had a defensive highlight in the top of the seventh, turning a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. A single and a double followed, however, to give Wisconsin another run before Delaney got a flyout to left to end the game.
Delaney earned the win in the game to improve to 16-2 on the season, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks with five strikeouts.
Williams finished 2-for-2 with two doubles, a run and an RBI, while Sengewald also had two hits to go along with an RBI and two runs scored. Logan drove in a pair for the 'Cats.
Northwestern returns to action at noon CT Sunday, April 22, with a doubleheader at Minnesota.