April 29, 2012
Box Score |
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Drysdale Field)
Score: Northwestern 8, Ohio State 5
Records: NU (21-26, 8-10 Big Ten), Ohio State (28-20, 7-10 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: May 2, 2012 -- at DePaul (Chicago, Ill.), 4 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern scored in each of the first four innings Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader against Ohio State, weathering a couple of Buckeyes' rallies and the weather itself for an 8-5 victory at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
Northwestern earned a 2-1 series win over Ohio State with its victory, moving to 21-26 overall on the season and 8-10 in the conference. OSU now is 28-20 on the season, 7-10 in the conference after its loss.
Ohio State took an early 1-0 lead with a two-out solo home run from Alicia Herron, who moved into a tie for the Big Ten lead in home runs alongside Northwestern sophomore Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) with 12.
Northwestern tied the score immediately in the bottom of the first. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) legged out a one-out infield single before stealing second and motoring around to score when the aforementioned Bast fisted a two-out single into center.
In the top of the second, junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) made one of the best defensive plays of her season, leaping and reaching across her body to glove a smashed line drive with the very top of her glove to prevent extra bases. The play turned out to be big when Ohio State loaded the bases with two outs against NU starter Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja), who escaped the jam with a harmless bounder to Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) at first.
Northwestern played textbook ball to take the lead in the bottom of the second. Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) crushed a double into the gap in left center to lead off the inning before Albanese sacrificed her to third with one out. Freshman Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) then poked a single into right to bring Letourneau home for a 2-1 Northwestern edge.
The second inning continued with a walk to Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) and a bases-loading infield single by Allard. One out later, Monka fought off several tough offerings before smacking a single into center to drive home Edwards and Scharkey for a 4-1 Northwestern lead going to the third inning.
Ohio State chipped a run off NU's lead in the top of the third with a two-out double, but Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Calif./Antioch) personally got the run back with one swing of the bat to lead off the bottom of the inning, crushing a solo shot into the bleachers in left to re-establish a three-run NU cushion, 5-2. The home run was Duehr's seventh of the season.
Ohio State answered right back with a leadoff home run of its own in the fourth to make it a 5-3 contest. In the bottom of the fourth, Scharkey led off with a single to second and took second when the throw on the play got away for an error. A productive groundout behind the runner courtesy of Allard moved Scharkey to third with one down before she slid home safely on a Majam RBI groundout to again go tit-for-tat with Ohio State in the run column.
Northwestern tried to add additional runs in the fifth with a two-out rally when Letourneau rocked a single off the pitcher's foot and Albanese ripped a single off the glove of a diving first baseman. Edwards bid for a deep double was tracked down in the left-center field gap, however, to keep the score 6-3 going to the sixth inning.
Albanese put together her best inning in the circle in the top of the sixth, quickly setting Ohio State down in order as rain began to fall on Sharon J. Drysdale Field. After a strike to Scharkey to lead off the bottom of the sixth, the teams endured a brief five minute rain delay before resuming with a Scharkey double to left. At that point, Ohio State made a pitching change, and the new pitcher walked Allard and Majam in succession to load the bases with no outs.
Monka then sent a fly ball into center that was caught for the first out and Scharkey took off for home. Scharkey slid into the waiting tag and initially was ruled safe when the catcher lost the ball, but then was ruled out as she inadvertently kicked the ball away from the catcher scrambling to come back and make sure she touched home. Now with two outs in the inning and first base open, Ohio State intentionally walked Bast before Duehr made them pay with a two-run single to center to make it an 8-3 game going to the seventh.
Albanese issued a leadoff walk in the seventh, leading to Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) taking the circle in relief. Lamberth also walked her first batter of the frame before a groundout moved both Buckeyes up a bag. A single and an RBI groundout plated two runs before Lamberth gloved a comebacker to finish the game.
Albanese (3-5) earned the win with six-plus innings of work, allowing four runs on five hits and five walks with two strikeouts. Lamberth with 1.0 innings of relief, giving up one run on a hit and a walk.
Duehr, Letourneau and Scharkey all had two hits for Northwestern in the game, with Duehr driving in three. Both Majam and Scharkey scored twice and Monka knocked in two.
Northwestern plays its final nonconference game of the season at 4 p.m. CT Wednesday, May 2, at DePaul.
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