May 5, 2012
Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Secchia Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 15, Michigan State 1 (5)
Records: NU (22-27, 9-10 Big Ten), Michigan State (11-37, 0-18 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: May 5, 2012 -- at Michigan State (Secchia Stadium), Immediately
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Northwestern exploded for 14 hits and 15 runs in the first game of a Big Ten doubleheader Saturday at Michigan State's new Secchia Stadium, run-ruling the Spartans in a 15-1 (5) decision.
Northwestern improves to 22-27 overall on the year, 9-10 in the Big Ten with its win while Michigan State falls to 11-37 overall, 0-18 in the conference with its loss. The Wildcats and Spartans return to the field right away for game two of today's B1G doubleheader.
Northwestern jumped immediately on the board in the top of the first against Michigan State's starter. With one out, Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) beat out a single to third and moved all the way around to that bag when the throw to first sailed wide. Senior Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that brought Majam home and resulted in Monka being safe at first for a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Marisa Bast
(Orange, Calif./Villa Park) pushed Monka to second with a single to left before Sammy Albanese
(Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) drove a double to the base of the fence in center to plate Monka for a 2-0 NU edge after the top of the first.
In the bottom of the first, NU starter Albanese needed just five pitches to post a zero on the scoreboard after shortstop Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) moved to her left to glove a grounder up the middle before taking it to second herself and firing to Monka at first for an inning-ending double play.
In the top of the second, Northwestern sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run explosion. Andrea DiPrima (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) started the proceedings when she reached via a one-out walk before Allard singled and Majam reached on a bases-loading error. Monka then brought DiPrima and Allard home with a rifle-shot single that glanced off the glove of a re-coiling pitcher and into center before Bast's second single of the game brought in Majam for a 5-0 Northwestern lead. After a two-out walk to Albanese, Michigan State made a pitching change, and she did not fare much better.
Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) greeted her with a two-run double to right, then Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) singled through the left-side hole to bring Letourneau around for an 8-0 Northwestern lead after two turns at the bat.
In the third, Northwestern poured more fuel on the offensive bonfire when a Monka two-out single made the score 9-0 before, several batters later, Letourneau bombed a home run into the Red Cedar River for a splash down grand slam and a 13-0 NU advantage. The blast was Letourneau's seventh of the season and her fifth in Big Ten play. She now is batting .410 and slugging .897 in Big Ten play with 18 RBIs in 13 starts.
Michigan State got on the board in the bottom of the third with an RBI groundout to make the score 13-1. After a 1-2-3 Northwestern top of the fourth, Albanese answered with a 1-2-3 pitch bottom of the frame.
In the top of the fifth, Letourneau collected her third extra-base hit of the game and her seventh RBI of the contest with a two-out double to the fence in right center. A two-out MSU error later in the frame brought in NU's final run in the 15-1 victory.
Letourneau led Northwestern at the plate with a 3-for-4 day, driving in seven on two doubles and a grand slam. Her seven RBIs are the most for NU in a single game since Michelle Batts drove in the same number on May 2, 2010, against Penn State. Monka also had three hits with four RBIs while Bast recorded three base knocks and scored three times. Albanese finished a perfect 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs. DiPrima, Majam and Letourneau all scored two runs each.
Albanese (4-5) earned the win in the circle, allowing one run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts. She needed just 54 pitches for the 5.0-inning complete game victory.
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