May 6, 2012
Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Secchia Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 8, Michigan State 0 (5)
Records: NU (24-27, 11-10 Big Ten), Michigan State (11-39, 0-20 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: May 11, 2012 -- vs. Illinois (Sharon J. Drysdale Field), 2 p.m. CT doubleheader
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Junior Meghan Lamberth (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) tossed a two-hit shutout and Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) gave Northwestern an immediate lead with a first-inning grand slam Sunday to lead NU to a series sweep of Michigan State with an 8-0 (5) win at Secchia Stadium.
Northwestern improves to 24-27 on the season with its win, 11-10 in the Big Ten. Michigan State now is 11-39 on the year with its loss, 0-20 in the conference. The Wildcats won Saturday's two contests by counts of 15-1 (5) and 5-1.
Lamberth needed 61 pitches to complete her masterpiece, allowing just a dying liner single to right in the third inning and an infield single in the fifth with no walks and five filthy strikeouts. The shutout was Lamberth's second of the season and second of Big Ten play after she also blanked Minnesota on April 14.
Northwestern's offensive outpouring that saw 20 Wildcats' runs cross home in two games Saturday continued unabated in the first inning of Sunday's contest. Emily Allard
(Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) began the game with a single before stealing second. Mari Majam
(Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) followed with a four-pitch walk, then, after both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Adrienne Monka
(Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Bast responded to the strategy in grand style, driving a home run to deep left for a quick 4-0 Northwestern lead. The shot was Bast's team-leading 13th of the year and the 18th of her career, tying her with Karen Lemke (1982-85) for 10th all-time at NU. Bast also now has an even 60 RBIs for the season and 30 in Big Ten play -- the fourth-most runs batted in during Big Ten games in conference single-season history.
Lamberth breezed through a 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning with a pair of strikeouts before facing the minimum again in the second with the help of two nice catches from Majam in left and Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) in right.
Northwestern's offense resumed its rampage in the top of the third. Bast drew a leadoff walk before Duehr joined her on base with a one-out free pass. Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) handlebarred a single into left to bring Bast home before a Lamberth single through the hole loaded the bases. Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) then received a five-pitch walk to force in Duehr and make NU's lead 6-0. Two subsequent ground balls resulted in outs at the plate to end the inning.
Michigan State got its lone hit and base runner of the game with one out in the third, but Lamberth quickly stranded her. Monka then stepped to the plate to lead off the fourth and lined a frozen rope over the fence in center to make the score 7-0. The blast re-tied Monka with Bast for the team lead with 13 home runs this year and gave her 54 home runs for her career -- good for solo third place in NU history.
Bast and Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja) followed the bomb with sharp singles, then the MSU shortstop booted the ball on an Edwards grounder to allow Bast to score for the third time in the game, pushing the score into run-rule territory at 8-0.
Lamberth re-took the circle and worked a perfect fourth, capping the frame with a K. She then completed the victory by working around a one-out single in the fifth.
Bast went 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a home run, four RBIs and a career-best three runs scored to lead Northwestern. Monka walked twice in addition to her home run and scored twice while Lamberth had a 2-for-3 day to also contribute nicely at the plate in addition to her pitching prowess.
Northwestern returns to action May 11-12 for Senior Weekend at Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston. NU will host Illinois in a 2 p.m. CT doubleheader Friday, May 11, before a 1 p.m. CT single game Saturday, May 12. Following Saturday's contest the Wildcats will host their annual Purple Auction in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
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