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    No. 8 Wildcats Head North to Hunt Badgers, Gophers

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Nicole Pauly leads Northwestern with a .432 batting average in Big Ten play.
    Freshman Nicole Pauly leads Northwestern with a .432 batting average in Big Ten play.

    April 18, 2007

    Northwestern's Game Notes in PDF Format
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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- With half of the Big Ten schedule in its rearview mirror, No. 8 Northwestern hits the road for the final time in conference play this weekend to face Wisconsin and Minnesota.

    The Wildcats and Badgers first square off at 6 p.m. CT Friday, April 20, before meeting again at noon CT Saturday, April 21. NU then faces Minnesota in a Sunday, April 22 doubleheader beginning at noon CT.

    Northwestern currently is 8-3 in the conference, a half-game ahead of Ohio State's 5-1 record, but because the Big Ten is decided by percentages and due to an inordinate amount of weather cancellations so far this season, NU currently is third in the standings behind OSU and Penn State (3-1).

    Last year, the Wildcats outscored the Badgers 26-3 in a two-game sweep to open conference play at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Northwestern is making its second-straight trip to Minnesota's Jane Sage Cowles Field, which played host to an epic 18-inning battle between the schools last year. When the dust settled on that contest, Northwestern had a 4-3 win and senior Eileen Canney (Paradise, Calif./Paradise) had matched the NCAA Division I single-game strikeout record of 28.

    Freshman Nicole Pauly (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) has had a strong first Big Ten campaign, currently leading the conference in hits (16), RBIs (16) and total bases (29). She ranks among the league's top-10 in batting, on-base and slugging percentage.

    Senior Garland Cooper (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) hit two home runs last week to give her 18 on the season and an even 50 for her career, leaving her just one shy of matching Golden Gopher Jordanne Nygren's conference record of 51. Canney comes into the weekend 27 strikeouts shy of becoming the third Wildcat ever to reach 1,000 for her career.

    Northwestern faces Notre Dame in a midweek game at 6 p.m. CT, Tuesday, April 24, in South Bend, Ind.

    For Northwestern's complete weekend notes package, click on the .pdf link at the top of this page.

    Gametracker will be available at for all games this week.

    Northwestern student radio WNUR 89.3 FM will broadcast Friday's game at Wisconsin. The broadcast also can be found online at or at via All-Access.