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June 2, 2007
Box Score |
OKLAHOMA CITY -- No. 2 seed Northwestern matched its own Women's College World Series single-game record with three home runs, and senior pitcher Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) matched a pair of milestone NU pitching records as the Wildcats eliminated the Baylor Bears, 7-0, Saturday night in the loser's bracket finale at Hall of Fame Stadium.
With the win, Northwestern advances to the semifinals of the Women's College World Series for the second-consecutive year, and for the third time in five all-time appearances. NU will face Tennessee at 2 p.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, June 3, on ESPN for the right to go to the championship series. The Wildcats, coming from the loser's bracket, must defeat the Lady Vols twice to advance.
Northwestern now is 52-12 overall on the year after the win, while Baylor concludes its season with a 51-16 mark.
Canney earned the win in the game to tie three-time All-American Lisa Ishikawa's school single-season (33) and career (97) wins records. Canney now is 33-10 on the year and 97-34 for her career. She allowed no runs for her 10th shutout of the season, surrendering five hits and three walks while striking out nine.
Northwestern mounted a rally immediately to begin the game. Senior Katie Logan (Tempe, Ariz./Corona del Sol) led off with a high-bouncing single to third on the first pitch of the game from Baylor starter Kirsten Shortridge (17-6). Sophomore Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) then was hit with the game's second offering before senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
After a fielder's choice ball to second erased Logan at the plate, sophomore Erin Dyer (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) laced a single into left-center field to score both Williams and Cooper and give NU a 2-0 lead.
A walk to sophomore Jessica Rigas (River Forest, Ill./Oak Park River Forest) loaded the bags again, but Shortridge got a strikeout and a groundout to end the frame and stem the purple tide.
Northwestern got right back on the horse for four more runs in the second inning. Junior Darcy Sengewald (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) drew a leadoff walk, then moved to second when Logan reached on an error by Courtney Oberg at second. Baylor then made a host of defensive changes, including moving Lisa Ferguson into the circle in relief of Shortridge.
Williams greeted Ferguson with a smash over the fence in left field, staking the Wildcats to a 5-0 lead. The blast was Williams' 16th of the season and the 30th of her career, ranking her second in NU single-season history and third all-time. She now has two home runs in this year's WCWS and three for her career.
Cooper followed her fellow red-head Williams with a solo home run to center to extend the cushion to six, 6-0. The blast marked the second time Williams and Cooper hit back-to-back home runs at the Women's College World Series after also doing it against UCLA on June 4, 2006.
Cooper's home run was her 23rd of the year, extending her own Big Ten single-season record and ranking her 19th in NCAA Division I single-season history. She now has 55 home runs for her career, ranking her 18th in NCAA Division I history. Cooper also has three-career WCWS home runs after hitting two a year ago.
In the bottom of the second, Baylor put runners on second and third with one out after a single, a walk and a passed ball. Canney fanned the next two batters, however, to escape the inning with no damage done.
In the top of the fourth, freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) got in on the homer party, launching a towering blast over the left-center field fence to make the score 7-0. The blast was Pauly's 14th of the season, tying the NU single-season record for a freshman set last year by Williams.
The Wildcats previously hit three homers in a game during its 3-1, eight-inning victory over UCLA on June 4 of last season's WCWS.
Dyer finished 2-for-4 in the game for the 'Cats, while both Williams and Cooper scored a pair of runs. Williams drove in three.
Saturday night's attendance was 8,222, establishing a single-session record for the Women's College World Series. The previous record was 8,049 set during the 2000 WCWS championship game session featuring Oklahoma and UCLA.