Wind Baffles Illini in 8-0 Loss at Northwestern
April 6, 2013
Evanston, Ill. - For the second day in a row, the Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Illinois softball team, 8-0, in five innings. Freshman Allie Bauch broke up Meghan Lamberth's no-hitter in the fifth, but that would be all the offense the Illini could muster, dropping to 11-20 on the year and 1-7 in Big Ten play. With the win, NU improves to 18-14 (4-3 Big Ten).
With 30 mph winds blowing out, the Wildcat offense did a great job of hitting balls in the air and letting nature take care of the rest. Marisa Bast, Mari Majam and Anna Edwards each went deep, including a game-changing grand slam in the second by Bast. Edwards and Amy Letourneau also capitalized on the weather with a pair of regularly-routine fly balls that swirled in the air and tripped up the Illini defense, dropping in for extra-base hits.
Allie Bauch represented Illinois' first hit of the weekend, roping a line drive up the middle in the fifth inning. Brittany Sanchez was the only other Illini to reach base, getting on due to an error in the second.
"We got beat two days in a row in every area of the game," said Head Coach Terri Sullivan. "However, this team remains together, positive and determined to get on track; not many coaches can say that about a team when the going gets tough.
"We simply have to go out there and play to our ability for the entire game. When we do that, good things will happen."
Meghan Lamberth hurled a 1-hit gem for the Wildcats, striking out three and allowing just two base runners. Pepper Gay pitched 4.0+ innings for Illinois, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits, including three home runs, and three walks, striking out one.
Gay got the first two Wildcats out in the bottom of the first, but Marisa Bast jacked one over the video cart in straightaway center to give Northwestern a swift 1-0 lead.
Anna Edwards began the second inning with a popup that got lost in the wind and dropped in in shallow left center. She took a risky turn around first, and despite the throw beating her to the bag, it was ruled that she slid under the tag to pull in safe at second. Andrea DiPrima laced a liner up the middle in the next at bat for an RBI single. LeBeau laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Lamberth walked. Duehr grounded into a fielder's choice to make it first and third, and a full count walk to Scharkey loaded the bases. Mari Majam then hit one directly into the wind, which carried out of the park for a grand slam, making it 6-0 Northwestern.
The `Cats tacked on a seventh run in the bottom of the third on a solo home run by Edwards.
Allie Bauch broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the fifth off the glove of the diving second baseman up the middle. Jenna Mychko moved her to second on a slow roller to the right side, but Lamberth struck out Katie Repole to keep the Illini off the board for another frame.
Northwestern finished it in the bottom of the fifth, with a single, a walk, and an RBI double near the wall in right center, another ball that on an ordinary day would have been a routine fly ball but carried in the wind, for a run-rule 8-0 victory.
Illinois will look to turn things around on Sunday in the series finale at Drysdale Field, with first pitch set for Noon.