Cats seal midweek leak

Coley Harvey

Softball

The Wildcats let out a collective sigh of relief Tuesday as they won their first midweek game in two weeks, beating DePaul 2-1.

Their last midweek win came on April 19 when they beat Bradley twice in a home doubleheader.

No. 15 NU was scheduled to play a doubleheader Tuesday, but coach Kate Drohan said the second game was scrapped because both teams are in position to clinch NCAA bids this weekend.

NU (36-12) needs to beat No. 1 Michigan once to become the regular season Big Ten champion. DePaul (35-15) needs one win to take the Conference USA title.

“Also, (junior) Sheila McCorkle broke her arm in the second game last year when I insisted on playing two games,” Drohan said. “So I decided to help her karma a little bit — I wasn’t going to push it.”

Drohan credited Tuesday’s victory to a strong seven-inning pitching performance from her starter, sophomore Eileen Canney.

“I was very, very pleased with the way Eileen pitched in the seventh inning,” Drohan said. “She did a great job taking control of the game.”

Canney started the seventh by giving up a single after getting hit on the bottom of her right leg by a ground ball. After getting one out, she threw 11 pitches to the next batter before getting her to pop out. Then, she ended the complete game with a called strike three.

“It took (Eileen) a couple of pitches to get back into her timing (after being hit by the ball),” Drohan said. “She’s a tough kid, though, and I knew she would be good.

“I was pleased with the way she showed great toughness, poise and threw some great pitches in the inning.”

In the top of the second, Canney gave up DePaul’s only run of the game when Jenny Doezie hit a solo home run.

It wasn’t just the Cats’ pitching that helped them win the midweek game. Offense played an integral role as well.

In the bottom of the first, senior right fielder Erin Mobley homered for the second time in as many games, giving NU an early 1-0 lead.

“I just wanted to get in, get a good pitch, drive something hard and use (the barrel of my bat) like I did the game before,” Mobley said.

Junior Kristen Amegin continued the scoring in the bottom of the fourth when she singled into center, driving in pinch runner junior Ashley Crane from third.

Next up for NU is Northern Illinois at 4 p.m. today at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.

Reach Coley Harvey at [email protected]