April 24, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -- A two-hitter from sophomore Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) and a three-run fifth inning -- with, appropriately, a pair of triples -- propelled Northwestern past Penn State, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
With the win, NU improves to 33-10 overall and 13-0 in the Big Ten. Penn State falls to 28-17 overall, 6-6 in the Big Ten.
Just like in its first cold-weather game of the season Wednesday night at UIC, Northwestern had some fielding difficulties early in the game. Two errors in the first three frames allowed Penn State to twice reach third base, but NU made up for it with some great infield defense to keep the Nittany Lions from scoring.
In the first frame with runners on first and third, Penn State attempted a double steal. Catcher Jamie Dotson (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) snuffed out the play by catching Jen Williams in a rundown on the third-base line and firing to freshman Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East), who applied the tag.
The Wildcats finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, senior Erin Mobley (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) hustled out an infield single to keep the inning alive for sophomore Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic). Cooper laced a triple into right field, past a diving fielder, to plate Mobley and give NU a 1-0 lead.
The two-out rally would continue with a Dotson single into right to score Cooper. Dotson was replaced at first by sophomore Elizabeth Piatt (Monticello, Ill./Monticello). Junior Kristen Amegin (Sacramento, Calif./Elk Grove) then hit a sky-high fly ball into right, kept in the ballpark only by the wind, which moved it out of reach of the fielder. Amegin ended up on third and Piatt scored to make NU's advantage three runs, 3-0.
Amegin's triple was the first of her career. Hitting two triples in one inning is a first for the Wildcats this season; NU entered the game with just six triples as a team on the season.
After Canney got the Nittany Lions out 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth -- including a great stab of a line drive by Sengewald -- PSU entered Jenn Reynolds into the game to pitch, relieving starter Ashley Esparza.
Esparza took the loss for Penn State, dropping her record to 9-4 on the season.
Canney pitched a strong outing in the circle, allowing just two hits and no walks while striking out four. Her record improves to 17-4 for the year. The shutout was Canney's fourth of the season.
Mobley finished 2-for-2 for Northwestern while Amegin also had a pair of hits.
The game marked Northwestern's first Big Ten outing of the weekend after rain and cold forced the cancellation of both scheduled games against Ohio State on Friday and Saturday.