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    Four-Run Sixth Pushes 'Cats Past Boilermakers, 6-4

    Brianna LeBeau had a triple early in the game, an RBI in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run during NU's later four-run rally.

    Brianna LeBeau had a triple early in the game, an RBI in the sixth and scored the go-ahead run during NU's later four-run rally.

    April 26, 2013

    Box Score

    Purdue Game One Highlights

    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
    Score: Northwestern 6, Purdue 4
    Records: NU (26-18, 10-7 B1G), Purdue (22-26, 8-10 B1G)
    Next NU Event: April 27, 2013 -- vs. Purdue (Sharon J. Drysdale Field), 1 p.m.

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Trailing by a pair of runs entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Northwestern plated a quartet to earn a 6-4 win over Purdue in the opening game of Senior Weekend Friday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.

    With its win, Northwestern moves to 26-18 overall on the year and 10-7 in the Big Ten. Purdue now is 22-26 on the season, 8-10 in the league.

    Northwestern and Purdue clash again at 1 p.m. CT Saturday in a contest featuring a spring Wildcat Alley and Donate Life Illinois Day. The seventh-annual Purple Auction will follow Saturday's contest. NU then celebrates Senior Day Sunday with a noon CT start and a pre-game clinic with members of National Pro Fastpitch's Chicago Bandits.

    Purdue Game One Highlights

    Northwestern got the game's first runner to third base in the bottom of the second when freshman Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) ripped a two-out triple over the head of the centerfielder but the contest's first scoring spurt came from Purdue in the next half inning. With the bases loaded and no outs on a walk, an error and a single, the next batter worked a long full-count walk to force in a run.

    Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) then endured a 14-pitch at-bat with the next Boilermaker in which she came out on top via a swinging K. Another strikeout and a comebacker limited the Purdue damage to just a single run.

    In the top of the fourth, Purdue added another run on a one-out single with runners at second and third. Letourneau then stranded two more runners with her fifth and sixth Ks of the game. Five of her six strikeouts through the first four innings came with runners at least at second and third for the Boilermakers.

    Northwestern found its fight in the fourth. Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) led off the inning with a single back up the middle before moving to second one out later on an identical Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) base hit. Then, Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) hit a hot-shot grounder directly to short that went through the wickets for an error before also getting past the left fielder for a second error on the same hot potato. Both Bast and Edwards came around to score to send the game tied to the fifth, 2-2.

    In the top of the fifth Purdue made a bid to re-take the lead, but sophomore Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) made a tremendous play at first. With runners at first and second and two outs, the batter pinged a two-hopper that looked destined for right field. Kuhn dove to her right and used every inch of her frame to glove the ball before getting up and touching the bag to retire the side.

    Purdue did manage to re-take the lead in the top of the sixth on a two-out RBI double that fell just in front of a diving Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) in left. Later in the inning, a hit by pitch with the bases loaded extended the Boilermakers' lead to 4-2.

    Letourneau led off the bottom half of the sixth with a solid single before Edwards was hit by a pitch. One out later, a passed ball moved both runners up a bag before LeBeau hit a sharp grounder to short. The fielder brought the throw home ahead of Letourneau, but the 5-11 hurler did her best Venric Mark by faking right and hitting the hole left to avoid the tag and score. Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) then stepped into the box and took the first pitch she saw off her hip to load the bases, prompting a Purdue pitching change from starter Lexy Moore to Lilly Fecho.

    Fecho mowed down the next Wildcat on three-straight pitches before Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) hit a little flare off the handle of her bat that fell just in front of a diving shortstop and scooted away to allow both Edwards and LeBeau to score and give NU its first lead of the game, 5-4. Nearly the exact same play followed when Majam also hit a flare to the shortstop that could not be corralled for an infield single, this one bringing Albanese around for a 6-4 score entering the seventh.

    Letourneau then worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to complete the game and move to 18-10 on the year. She allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and six walks with nine strikeouts. Letourneau now has 247 strikeouts on the season which moves her into ninth on NU's single season list. She also moved into seventh all-time at NU with 364 strikeouts, bypassing Jackie DeBoard's total of 358 set from 1997-98.

    LeBeau's triple in the second inning gave Northwestern 13 on the year, its most since also legging out 13 during the 1991 season. The Wildcats currently rank in the top 25 in the nation in triples per game. Scharkey led NU with two RBIs while Edwards scored a pair of runs.


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