April 25, 2012
Site: DeKalb, Ill. (Mary M. Bell Field)
Score: Northwestern 12, Northern Illinois 3
Records: NU (19-25), Northern Illinois (18-29)
Next NU Event: April 28, 2012 -- vs. Ohio State (Sharon J. Drysdale Field), 1 p.m. CT doubleheader
DEKALB, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) became the fourth member of the Wildcats' 50 home run club Wednesday at Northern Illinois when she crushed the 50th and 51st home runs of her career to highlight a 12-3 NU victory.
Northwestern improves to 19-25 overall on the season with its win while Northern Illinois now is 18-29 with its loss.
Northwestern got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) led off the game with a textbook Allard single, but she then was called out stealing. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) followed that play with a double before Monka drew a walk. Though Monka was erased on a Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) fielder's choice ball, the inning continued when Bast stole second and Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Calif./Antioch) was hit by a pitch to load the bags with two outs.
(Arlington Heights, Calif./Buffalo Grove) then connected on a little flare behind shortstop that the fielder caught up to, but while giving a little hop to harness it, the ball hit the heel of her glove and popped out for a two-run error.
The Huskies got one run back in the bottom of the first on a two-out single followed by a double against Wildcats' starter Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) to make it a 2-1 game going to the second inning.
Northwestern loaded the bases again in the top of the second when Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) was hit by a pitch, Allard was safe on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt and Monka once again walked. With two outs, Bast shot a single through the left side of the infield to drive in Scharkey and Allard and extend NU's lead to 4-1.
Lamberth stranded a bottom-of-the-second leadoff double at third thanks in part to an inning-ending strikeout, then gave way to sophomore Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) in the circle to start the bottom of the third. Northern Illinois rallied for a couple of runs in the frame against the new Wildcats' hurler, cutting the NU lead down to 4-3 heading to the fourth inning.
NU got one run back in the top of the fourth when Monka drilled a two-out single back up the middle to plate Scharkey, who had walked and stolen second to lead off the inning. Now leading 5-3, Northwestern and Albanese stranded two Huskies in a scoreless fourth after a two-out single and an NU error.
The Wildcats tacked on three more runs in the fifth. With one out, DiPrima buzzed the pitcher's tower with a line drive just past her head and into center for a single before scoring all the way from first on an Albanese double. Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) then crushed her fourth home run of the season over the fence in left to make Northwestern's lead five, 8-3.
Sophomore Jenny Tyler (Glendale, Ariz./Deer Valley) entered the circle in relief in the bottom of the fifth, allowing just one base runner who was erased on a great double play started by Allard at short.
In the bottom of the inning, Monka made her history, sending a solo shot very high over the fence in left field for her ninth home run of 2012 and the 50th of her time in Evanston. She joins Tammy Williams (57), Garland Cooper (55) and Nicole Pauly (53) as members of NU's 50-homer club.
Not content to sit on 50, Monka smashed No. 51 in the seventh. Scharkey and Majam both reached on singles earlier in the inning, then Monka sent a three-run shot to right center for her 10th blast of the year that made the score 12-3. Monka now has had double digit home runs in all four of her Northwestern seasons.
Monka finished the day a perfect 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBIs. Majam had two hits and two runs while Bast recorded two hits and two RBIs. Scharkey scored a career-best three runs and Edwards knocked in two.
Lamberth went 2.0 innings in the start, allowing one run on three hits with a K. Albanese was credited with the win in relief, giving up two runs on five hits in 2.0 innings of work. Tyler picked up the first save of her career with 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, giving up just two hits with two strikeouts.
Northwestern returns to action in a B1G doubleheader at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, April 28, against Ohio State at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Prior to the game, the Chicago Bandits will hold a free clinic for girls in grades one through eight and the N-Club will sponsor a football-style Wildcat Alley. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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