April 21, 2014
NU Hosts the Big Ten Tournament May 8-10!
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Fresh off a walk-off win Sunday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field to sweep a series against Indiana, No. 25 Northwestern hits the road immediately for a 4 p.m. CT Tuesday doubleheader at Illinois that will be televised live on BTN.
Lisa Byington will handle play-by-play duties for BTN with Stacey Phillips providing colorful comments. Because of this broadcast, the usual Doug Meffley road audio will not be provided; it will return for NU's final B1G road series April 25-27 at Ohio State.
Northwestern sophomore Kristen Wood (Trevor, Wis./Wilmot Union) led the Wildcats last week with a 3-0 record in three starts in the circle. She began with a no-hitter against Loyola (Chicago) on April 16 in which she fanned a career-high 12 batters before again striking out 12 in a two-hit shutout of Indiana on April 18. Ranking 16th in the nation with 9.2 Ks per seven innings, Wood has given Chicago its next Kid K, this one hailing from Chicago's Big Ten Team.
Wildcats senior Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) led the NU barrage at the plate and earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors Monday for her efforts. Bast batted .545 overall in four games, including a .625 (5-for-8) performance in three contests versus the Hoosiers. She clubbed two home runs and recorded five RBIs, slugged 1.091 and had an on-base percentage of .643.
Bast's biggest blast came in an 8-0 (6) run-rule victory against Indiana Friday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. With fellow senior Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire) at second base, Bast drilled a soaring, towering home run onto the roof of McGaw Hall, which houses Welsh-Ryan Arena and borders NU's home ballpark beyond left field. With the shot, Bast became the sixth member of the prestigious and exclusive Sharon J. Drysdale Field "Roof Club." In the 33-year history of the field, only eight fair home run balls have ever reached that roof, all of them since 2007 and all off the bats of Wildcats (there are two two-time members; more information can be found on Page 4 of the Game Notes linked above.)
Illinois got off to a quick start to the 2014 season but has struggled in conference play, currently ranking 12th with a 3-12 Big Ten record and an overall 19-21 mark. The Wildcats and Illini hung out a bit at Long Beach State during the first week of March while waiting for biblical rains to subside. NU was able to get one game in that weekend; Illinois (which had an 11-3 record at the time) was unable to get any games completed at the tournament.
Following this midweek doubleheader, NU heads to Columbus, Ohio, for an April 25-27 series at Ohio State. The Wildcats then return home for Senior Weekend May 2-4 against Michigan State. Part of that weekend's festivities will include, as always, the celebrated PURPLE AUCTION on Saturday, May 3.
Tickets for 2014 Northwestern softball are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775). Tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for youth and seniors, and $3 for groups of 15 or more. For softball ticketing questions or for group sales, contact Joe Thuente at 847-467-6862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwestern is the host of the 2014 Big Ten Tournament May 8-10 at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. All-session and group tickets for this premier, 12-team softball event ARE ON SALE NOW. The tourney will feature not only some of the nation's best softball, but also the first-ever night game in the history of Sharon J. Drysdale Field. Again, contact Joe Thuente at 847-467-6862 or email@example.com for more information.
Northwestern's Big Ten Tournament website is LIVE; check it out and click on the team logos to explore the conference and learn more about Big Ten Softball before all 12 schools invade Evanston next month!
For the complete Northwestern game notes package for this weekend's Illinois series, download the .pdf at the top of this page.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!