April 28, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Junior Kelly Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs including a grand slam, tying the school single-game record with eight RBIs to pace No. 12 Northwestern's offense in a 12-4, six-inning win over No. 19 DePaul Tuesday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
Northwestern now is 29-11 on the season with the win while DePaul falls to 34-11 with its loss. The Wildcats are 9-5 on the year against ranked opponents.
DePaul got the action going in the game right away, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the first. Northwestern starter Lauren Delaney (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) came back to fan the next three Blue Demons to the plate to end the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the first inning, senior Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) put Northwestern on the board with a one-out solo home run off the side of McGaw Hall to put the Wildcats on top early, 1-0. The blast was Williams' 15th of the season and the 57th of her career, tying her for 24th all-time in NCAA Division I history.
Freshman slugger Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) followed the veteran Williams with a solo home run of her own, this one to right center to make the lead two, 2-0. Monka has a team-best 18 home runs on the season, the second-highest total in NU single-season history. Her 18 jacks also already tie her for eighth place on the Wildcats' career list with Karen Lemke (1982-85).
DePaul took the lead with a two-out rally in the top of the second. A two-out walk followed by a trio of singles scored three runs, with an error helping the third run across to give the Blue Demons a 3-2 advantage.
Kelly Dyer led off the bottom of the second with a bunt single before stealing second and aggressively moving to third on a fly out to left, but was unable to score in the inning.
Williams and Monka drew back-to-back walks to lead off the bottom of the third following their back-to-back jacks in the first, then both moved up a bag on a groundout by Michelle Batts
(Bloomingdale, Ill./Glenbard North). With Nicole Pauly
(Palatine, Ill./Palatine) at the plate, the DePaul catcher tried a snap throw to third to catch Williams napping, but the throw went into left field to allow Monka to move to third and Williams to score, knotting the game, 3-3.
Pauly eventually drew a walk before Dyer launched a three-run home run to left center that fought the wind just hard enough to land beyond the barrier and push Northwestern back into the lead, 6-3. The homer was the 75th of the season in 40 games for Northwestern.
The Wildcats nearly added to their total in the bottom of the fourth. Williams hit a two-out single before Monka laced a double down the line in left. Moving on contact, Williams raced around the plate and slid in under the very high throw, but was called out to end the inning.
DePaul cut NU's lead down to two, 6-4, with a two-out solo homer in the top of the fifth.
Batts drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, then was replaced at first by pinch runner Aly Euler (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest). Pauly joined Euler on the base paths via a walk as well. With Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) at the plate, a 2-1 pitch from DePaul starter Lauren Frankiewicz got away from the catcher to allow both runners to move up. Dyer would also work a walk to load the bases.
Kelly Dyer then stepped to the plate and unloaded the bases with a grand slam to center field, her second grand slam of the season and the third of her career to give Northwestern a 10-4 lead. Dyer's shot was her 10th of the year and the 18th of her career, tying her with Monka and Lemke for eighth in school history. The Wildcats now have five players with double-digit homers this season.
Monka drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth, then was replaced by pinch runner Megan Lilley (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover). One out later a fielder's choice grounder from Pauly erased Lilley at second. Erin Dyer reached on an infield single that went off the glove of a diving third baseman before Kelly Dyer singled into left center for her fourth hit of the game, driving in Pauly for her eighth RBI of the contest. Her eight RBIs ties the NU single-game record set by her sister Erin on March 31, 2006, against DePaul and matched by Williams on March 30, 2008, versus Minnesota.
Ashley Lafever (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) followed with another infield single after an at-bat which featured a foul ball that shattered a window in the game operations booth. With the bases now loaded, Jordan Wheeler (Garden Grove, Calif./Los Alamitos) singled up the middle to drive in Erin Dyer and end the game in six innings, 12-4.
Kelly Dyer was 4-for-4 with eight RBIs, two runs scored, 10 total bases and a stolen base. She is the sixth Wildcat to record four hits in a single game this season. Monka was 2-for-2 with a home run and a double, scoring twice. Williams went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Pauly crossed the plate three times and Erin Dyer scored twice.
Delaney earned the win, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched. She now is 27-8 on the year.
Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, May 2, against No. 11 Ohio State at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Immediately following that contest will be the third-annual Purple Auction celebrating Northwestern softball. All fans and friends of the program are encouraged to attend (click here for more information). The Wildcats then will celebrate Senior Day at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Come out to the park early to honor Erin Dyer, Ashley Lafever, Jessica Rigas and Tammy Williams.