May 12, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Courtnay Foster (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) tossed a four-hit shutout as No. 19 Northwestern advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday evening, defeating Purdue, 2-0, at Alumni Field.
The Wildcats improve to 38-14 overall, while Purdue falls to 34-24-1 with the loss. Northwestern has won its last four Big Ten Tournament-opening games dating to 2000.
The Wildcats have not allowed Purdue to score in the last 24 innings the two squads have played, dating to the first inning of a 13-3, six-inning Northwestern victory last season. NU shut out the Boilermakers three times this year.
Foster allowed four hits and one walk while striking out seven for her ninth season shutout. She improved to 19-6, which matches her career-best win total from her freshman year.
Foster has been a dominant force in the Big Ten Tournament. She has a 4-1 all-time record while giving up just four earned runs in 39.2 innings of work for a 0.71 ERA. She holds the Tournament records for most innings pitched and strikeouts in a tournament, set in 2003.
On Thursday evening, junior Kristen Amegin (Sacramento, Calif./Elk Grove) led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 advantage. The blast was the 13th of the year for NU's single-season and career home run leader.
Northwestern nearly scored again in the third. Senior Erin Mobley (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) reached first on a one-out single, beating out a high bouncing ball in front of the plate. She advanced to second on an infield single by Big Ten Player of the Year Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic). A walk by junior Jamie Dotson (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) loaded the bags for the 'Cats before a double-play ball ended the threat prematurely.
The Wildcats put their second run on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman Stephanie Churchwell
(Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) led off with a single up the middle for her second hit of the game. She advanced to second on a sacrifice by Mobley, then scampered to third on a passed ball, but was cut down at the plate after a fielder's choice that put Cooper on base.
With two outs, Dotson drew her second walk of the game before Amegin laced a ball down the left-field line. Cooper scored before Dotson was thrown out trying to reach third on the play to end the inning, making the score 2-0 in favor the Wildcats.
Amegin recorded both of Northwestern's RBIs in the contest.
Northwestern returns to action at 4 p.m. CT, Friday, May 13, against the winner of the No. 3 Iowa and No. 6 Penn State matchup to be played at 11 a.m. CT Friday morning.
That game and all NU postseason games will be broadcast live on WNUR 89.3 FM.