April 21, 2012
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (IU Softball Field)
Score: Indiana 8, Northwestern 6
Records: NU (17-23, 5-8 Big Ten), Indiana (22-21, 6-7 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: April 22, 2012 -- at Indiana (IU Softball Field), 1 p.m. CT -- Big Ten Network
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Northwestern opened a five-run lead early Saturday in the first game of its Big Ten series at Indiana, but the Hoosiers came all the way back to claim an 8-6 victory.
The Wildcats fall to 17-23 overall on the season with their loss, 5-8 in the conference. The Hoosiers now are 22-21 on the year, 6-7 in the Big Ten. Northwestern and Indiana continue their series with a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader tomorrow, Sunday, April 22, that will be televised live on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.
The Wildcats wasted so little time jumping all over the Hoosiers that they took a 4-0 lead before the first out of the game was recorded, sending all nine 'Cats in the lineup to the plate in the top of the first. Junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off with a double that tailed away from center and eluded the sideways dive of a charging left fielder, splitting the gap. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) then fought through a nine-pitch at-bat before joining Allard on base via a walk. Senior Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) fisted a single into left to knock in Allard for an early 1-0 lead, then earned the very first stolen base of her career as the back end of a double steal with Majam.
Sophomore Marisa Bast
(Orange, Calif./Villa Park) pushed Northwestern's lead to 3-0 with a double that fell under the glove of the diving right fielder. After Amy Letourneau
(Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) was hit by a pitch, Olivia Duehr
(Antioch, Ill./Antioch) sizzled a single into right to drive home Bast and make it a 4-0 game before the side finally was retired.
After Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning, the Wildcats tacked another run on their total in the second. Majam shot a single through the left-side hole with one out, moved to second on a Monka groundout, scampered to third on a wild pitch then scored when Bast ripped a single through that same left-side hole to push NU's advantage to 5-0.
In the bottom of the second, a Northwestern error contributed to a two-run Indiana rally, cutting the NU lead to 5-2 entering the third inning. The Hoosiers then collected five singles in the third to aid a five-run rally for a 7-5 lead over the Wildcats. The inning ended with a routine 2-4-2-5-3-8 put out of the trail runner on a first-and-third situation.
Northwestern fought back in the top of the fourth. Majam was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, then took second on a wild pitch. With one out and first base open, Bast was intentionally walked by the Hoosiers, then both 'Cats moved up a bag on a Letourneau groundout. Now with two outs, Indiana's pitcher was called for an illegal pitch that pushed Majam home for a 7-6 score. Later in the inning, with Bast at third and Duehr at second following a walk and steal, Lamberth lined a pitch to right that the fielder caught up to with a lunge at the line to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) nearly tied the game with an opposite field leadoff home run, but the wind blowing in pushed it right just enough to allow the fielder to make the catch leaning up against the fence. A diving Hoosier grab in foul ground ended the 1-2-3 Northwestern inning.
Indiana picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out solo home run to make it an 8-6 contest.
Majam and Monka led off the top of the sixth with back-to-back infield singles. Monka gave way to runner Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) at first, but a Bast line drive directly at the center fielder started a string of three-straight outs to quell the rally.
In the top of the seventh, Northwestern was unable to mount a final comeback in the loss.
Lamberth (8-11) went the distance in the circle, allowing eight runs (six earned) on nine hits and three walks.
At the plate, Majam led NU with three runs while Monka and Bast each had two hits. Bast drove in three runs to give her 47 on the year, tying her with Monka's 2011 season for seventh in NU single-season history.
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