April 24, 2012
Site: Chicago, Ill. (Loyola Softball Park)
Score: Loyola (Chicago) 1, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (18-25), Loyola (Chicago) (19-20)
Next NU Event: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 -- at Northern Illinois (DeKalb, Ill.), 4 p.m.
CHICAGO -- In a pitchers' duel Tuesday afternoon in Rogers Park, Loyola (Chicago) scratched across a third-inning unearned run to defeat Northwestern, 1-0.
Northwestern now is 18-25 on the season while Loyola improves to 19-20 with its win.
In the top of the first, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) reached courtesy of a nice one-out bunt single before Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) walked. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, but the Loyola starter bore down to escape the rally.
Sophomore Jenny Tyler (Glendale, Ariz./Deer Valley) made her first-career start in the circle for Northwestern. The first two Ramblers to the plate in the bottom of the first reached, but both Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) at short and Tyler in the circle did well to grab grounders and fire to Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) at third for lead outs. Tyler then escaped the jam to send the game scoreless to the second inning.
The next best threat came in the top of the third when Monka and Bast each drew two-out walks, but again the Rambler starter allowed the rally to go no further.
Loyola picked up the only run of the game in the bottom of the third, bringing around a leadoff hit by pitch via a passed ball and a Northwestern error for an unearned score and a 1-0 edge going to the fourth frame.
The leadoff Rambler again reached in the fourth before two groundouts moved her to third. Now with two outs in the inning, head coach Kate Drohan inserted Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) into the circle in relief of Tyler. Letourneau quickly got an inning-ending strikeout to keep the Wildcats within a run.
In the top of the fifth, Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) fell victim to a great catch at short on a crushed line drive before Allard was out on a tough call at first and Majam drove the ball to left where it was grabbed in an unlucky 1-2-3 frame for the NU offense.
Monka and Bast drew back-to-back walks to kick off the top of the sixth inning before, again, the Loyola hurler bore down to strike out the next three batters and keep NU off the board. Letourneau did her part with a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth. Then, in the top of the seventh, Scharkey was hit with a one-out pitch before moving to second on an Allard groundout and third on a two-out Majam bunt single. Loyola escaped for a final time, though, to preserve its win.
Tyler (0-1) took the loss, giving up just the one unearned run on two hits and two walks with one strikeout in 3.2 innings of work. Letourneau threw 2.1 hitless innings of relief with three Ks. Majam recorded both of Northwestern's hits at the plate.
Northwestern returns to action at 4 p.m. CT tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25, at Northern Illinois.
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