May 10, 2013
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Bowlin Stadium)
Score: Wisconsin 3, Northwestern 0
Records: NU (31-22), Wisconsin (40-11)
Next NU Event: May 12, 2013 -- NCAA Selection Special, 9 p.m. CT on ESPNU
LINCOLN, Neb. -- A trio of Northwestern errors led to a trio of unearned Wisconsin runs that the Wildcats were unable to answer Friday in 3-0 loss to the Badgers in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament hosted by Nebraska at Bowlin Stadium.
Northwestern is 31-22 overall on the season following its loss while Wisconsin moves to 40-11 on the year with its victory. NU now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate that will be revealed at 9 p.m. CT Sunday night, May 12, during the NCAA selection special on ESPNU.
Both teams combined for just seven hits in the well-pitched contest, which turned on NU errors in the third, fourth and sixth innings that each led to single Wisconsin runs in those frames.
Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) worked around leadoff walks in both the first and second innings, stranding the Badger on base in the second thanks to a great two-out catch of a hard, sinking liner by Julia Kuhn (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) at first.
In the bottom of the third, a two-out Northwestern error kick started a Wisconsin rally that saw the game's first run come home on a passed ball before Letourneau got a strikeout to send the contest to the fourth. In that top of the fourth, Marisa Bast
(Orange, Calif./Villa Park) smashed a line-drive, one-out double into the gap in left center, but Wisconsin was able to escape thanks in part to its third baseman snagging a hard Letourneau line drive.
Another two-out Wildcats error in the bottom of the fourth allowed a second Badgers run to score. Again, NU responded with a rally that fell just short. With one out, Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) singled before being joined on base by Olivia Duehr (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) (two-out walk) and Kristin Scharkey (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza) (hit by pitch). Wisconsin starter Cassandra Darrah was able to coax a comebacker from the next batter to end the threat.
Letourneau had her strongest inning of the game in the fifth, fanning the 2-3-5 batters in the Wisconsin lineup around a two-out single. NU then got a leadoff walk from Bast to begin the top of the sixth but could do nothing with the opportunity. Wisconsin loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth on a third Northwestern error, a walk and an infield single before another walk forced across the Badgers' third unearned run of the game.
In the top of the seventh, LeBeau led off with a single over the glove of a leaping third baseman before Duehr clobbered a ball to left with one out. For the second time in the tournament, however, Duehr's home run ball was held up by the wind and caught at the fence. Scharkey followed with an infield single to bring the tying run to the plate before Wisconsin ended the game.
Letourneau (21-13) took the loss, allowing three unearned runs on three hits and six walks with seven strikeouts. Letourneau's seven Ks pushed her over 400 for her career, making her the seventh Wildcat to reach that plateau.
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