April 24, 2013
Site: Madison, Wis. (Goodman Diamond)
Score: Wisconsin 3, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (25-17, 9-6 B1G), Wisconsin (34-9, 11-5 B1G)
Next NU Event: April 24, 2013 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), Immediately
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin exited an eventful first inning Wednesday in the opening game of a Big Ten doubleheader with a 2-1 lead over Northwestern and held on to defeat the Wildcats, 3-1.
Northwestern's five-game winning streak is snapped in the loss, moving NU's record to 25-17 overall on the year, 9-6 in the conference. Wisconsin improves to 34-9 on the season, 11-5 in the league with its win. The two squads return to action immediately in the second game of their Wednesday doubleheader.
Both teams combined to score three runs and leave five runners on base in the opening frame of this contest. Afterward, just one run was scored and eight runners were left by both teams in the subsequent six innings.
On the second pitch of the game, senior Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) drove a pitch into an outfield gap for a stand-up triple -- her fourth triple of the year and the team's 12th to give NU its most triples in a single season since legging out 13 in 1991. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) brought Scharkey in right away with a line drive single off the third baseman's glove for a quick 1-0 Northwestern lead.
Wisconsin also found paydirt in its half of the first, scoring a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead on a two-out single and walk.
From there, both Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and Wisconsin starter Cassandra Darrah hurled zeroes at each other with very little threat to the scoreboard. Letourneau worked around leadoff base runners for Wisconsin in each of the second, third and fourth innings, setting the side down in order after the batter reached in all three instances. Meanwhile, Darrah allowed a two-out single to Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) in the fourth and a two-out single and steal to Scharkey in the fifth, both times shutting down the next Wildcats batter.
The Badgers did add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out solo home run to make it a 3-1 contest.
Still trailing by that score in the top of the seventh, Northwestern's leadoff batter of the frame, Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards), drove a pitch all the way to the top of the fence in dead center where it was caught for an out. Later, with two outs, Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) drew her team-leading 22nd walk of the year, but again Wisconsin was able to shut NU down to preserve its win.
Letourneau (17-10) took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits and five walks with seven strikeouts. Scharkey led NU at the plate with two hits including her leadoff triple.
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