April 29, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
Score: Northwestern 3, Ohio State 1
Records: NU (20-26, 7-10 Big Ten), Ohio State (28-19, 7-9 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: April 29, 2012 -- vs. Ohio State (Drysdale Field), Immediately
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning of the first game of a Sunday doubleheader against Ohio State by crushing the sixth home run in Sharon J. Drysdale Field history to reach the roof of neighboring McGaw Hall, contributing to a 3-1 Northwestern victory.
Northwestern improves to 20-26 overall on the season with its win, 7-10 in the Big Ten. Ohio State falls to 28-19 after its loss, 7-9 in the conference. The Wildcats and Buckeyes will conclude their three-game series immediately with the second game of today's doubleheader.
Northwestern starter Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) needed 10 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 top of the first inning that took just two minutes to play. The Wildcats' offense took even less time to put their first two runners on in the bottom half when both Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) and Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) beat out infield singles (with Allard throwing in a steal of second to split up the sequence). Monka then drew her 41st walk of the season to load the bases with no outs.
Sophomore Marisa Bast
(Orange, Calif./Villa Park) put the 'Cats on the board with a fly ball to medium deep left center, driving in Allard and moving Majam to third on the sacrifice fly. At that moment, catcher Paige Tonz
(Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) moved from the flex spot in the lineup to run for Monka at first and stole second base. With two outs, freshman Andrea DiPrima
(Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) worked from an 0-2 count to a full-count walk to re-load the bases, but no further runs came in the frame.
Following another quick 1-2-3 Ohio State half of the second, Northwestern broke out another rally in the bottom half. Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) began the frame with a 10-pitch walk, then advanced to third one out later when the throw on an Allard sacrifice bunt went awry for an error. Allard swiped second base for the second time in the game, then Majam loaded the bases with an infield single when Ohio State successfully ate the ball on the play to keep Edwards at third. The Buckeyes' starter bore down big time, however, fanning the next two Wildcats to keep NU's lead at 1-0 after two innings.
Ohio State got its first hit of the game with an infield single in the top of the third against Lamberth, but the junior froze the final batter of the inning with a backwards K to keep the Buckeyes off the board. In the bottom of the third, Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Calif./Antioch) led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a one-out Lamberth groundout, but Duehr would become NU's seventh stranded runner of the game through three innings.
Ohio State tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the fourth on a leadoff double and a one-out single.
In the bottom half of the inning, Monka did something she has been doing her entire career: making home run history. After Majam drew a two-out walk, Monka unleashed a towering home run onto the roof of Welsh-Ryan Arena for a 3-1 NU lead. The shot was the 11th of Monka's season and the 52nd of her career, but the more fun category is Monka's place in the McGaw Hall Roof Club.
Only five people ever have hit home runs onto the roof of the neighboring building that houses Welsh-Ryan Arena, and Monka first joined the elite club on April 14, 2010, against Minnesota. Her blast Sunday makes her the first person in the history of the world to ever homer onto the roof of the building twice. The roof ball was the second this year for Northwestern after freshman Duehr inducted herself into the Club on April 7 against Iowa.
Bast followed Monka's blast with a four-pitch walk, prompting an Ohio State pitching change. Duehr greeted the new hurler with a laser single down the left-field line before the inning ended.
The offenses were largely quiet until the bottom of the sixth when Monka smashed a one-out double to center and Bast walked, but Ohio State kept its deficit at two runs by keeping Northwestern off the board.
In the top of the seventh, Lamberth struck out the first Buckeye to the plate before the second dribbled a seeing-eye single into center. The Wildcat junior calmly retired the next two batters she faced, though, to complete the victory.
Lamberth (9-11) earned the win with a strong complete-game performance, allowing just one run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Majam, Duehr and Monka all collected two hits for Northwestern at the plate with Monka driving in two and Allard stealing two bases.
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