April 30, 2013
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Sharon J. Drysdale Field)
Score: Northwestern 4, DePaul 2
Records: NU (29-18), DePaul (28-19)
Next NU Event: May 1, 2013 -- at UIC (Flames Field), 6 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Sophomore Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) became NU's first 20-game winner since 2009 and fanned 11 batters while also homering in a 4-2 win over DePaul Tuesday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
Northwestern improves to 29-18 overall on the season with its win while DePaul, which entered the game with an identical record, now is 28-19.
After working around a pair of DePaul base runners in the top of the first, Letourneau put the Wildcats on top in the bottom half with a two-out solo blast onto the batting cages beyond center at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. The shot was her 10th of the season and the 18th of her career. The inning continued with solid Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) and Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) singles before the Blue Demons ended the frame.
The Blue Demons put together their first big threat in the top of the third, getting runners to second and third with two outs before a pop up to shallow left that Edwards drop stepped from her shortstop spot to glove.
Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) led off the bottom of the third with a single and her team-best 15th steal of the year before DePaul starter Kirsten Verdun recovered to strike out the next three Wildcats. The Blue Demons then immediately knotted the score with a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth, and though they would put two more on in the frame, Letourneau kept the game tied with the help of two more strikeouts.
Northwestern struck back in its half of the fourth, beginning with DiPrima's second single of the game. Fran Strub (Coralville, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana) ran for her, moving to second when Paige Tonz (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) was hit by a two-out pitch. No. 9 batter Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) then put NU right back on top with a strong double into the left-center gap to bring Strub in and Tonz across all the way from first for a 3-1 Wildcats' edge going into the fifth.
Letourneau mowed through the heart of the DePaul order in the top of the fifth with two more strikeouts to reach seven for the game, allowing Northwestern to add to its lead in the bottom half. Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) led off with an infield single before Letourneau also beat out a ball on the dirt. Edwards immediately followed with a double to bring Majam around, extending NU's cushion to 4-1.
Letourneau was equally strong in the sixth and then notched her 10th strikeout of the game to start the seventh, but DePaul was able to load the bases with two outs. The next batter shot a single into left to bring one run home, then Letourneau's 11th strikeout ended the game.
Letourneau (20-10) became NU's first 20-game winner since Lauren Delaney in 2009 with her complete-game victory, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts. The contest was her 12th double-digit K effort of the season.
Letourneau, Edwards and DiPrima all went 2-for-3 at the plate for NU while Duehr drove in a pair.
Northwestern returns to action in a 6 p.m. CT nonconference game tomorrow evening, Wednesday, May 1, at UIC. The contest is rescheduled from an earlier weather postponement and will feature a special test road audio broadcast from NU softball's athletic communications director, technology willing.
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