Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Softball: Wildcats pounce on Hoosiers early and often in rain-shortened weekend

Northwestern’s offense made it rain on Indiana’s pitching staff Saturday, sending 10 batters to the plate, launching back-to-back home runs and scoring six before the Hoosiers retired the side in the first. The rest of the weekend was cut short, however, as heavy showers rolled in to Bloomington, Ind.

NU (21-19, 7-5 Big Ten) led Indiana (11-30, 3-8 Big Ten), 7-6, after the sixth inning Saturday when the game was postponed due to rain. The game was set to resume before Sunday’s scheduled contest, but additional precipitation forced the game to be canceled, handing the Wildcats their third win in four games. The second game of the series was also canceled.

The NU lineup wasted no time to start the game. Freshmen Emily Allard and Kristin Scharkey singled and walked, respectively, setting the table for a three-run home run by sophomore Adrienne Monka, her 12th of the year.

“We came out and we attacked the ball right away,” Monka said. “We were swinging at good pitches and putting pressure on the defense. And that just makes things happen for us.”

On the very next pitch, senior Nicole Pauly launched a ball over the scoreboard in left, her 11th home run of the season.

“When we’re able to execute … a single at-bat is an opportunity for a rally,” Drohan said. “We were able to put a couple big moments together.”

A triple by junior Jordan Wheeler drove home two more runs for the Cats, giving NU a 6-0 lead before Indiana escaped the onslaught. The offensive explosion showed signs of life from an NU offense that may be reaching its potential.

“We’re very dangerous when we’re all clicking,” Pauly said. “Off of any pitcher in the country we can score.”

Senior Lauren Delaney started in the circle for NU and saw no problems through her first two innings of work. Indiana put together its first rally in the third, narrowing the deficit to three with three singles and an NU error on a squeeze attempt. After Delaney loaded the bases with a walk, coach Kate Drohan inserted junior Jessica Smith in the game. Smith induced a fly ball to left field to end the inning.

It was a perfect example of NU’s pitching depth, which struggled the last two years.

“To have more than one pitcher is great this year because we don’t always have to rely on (Delaney),” Pauly said. “There are two other girls that can step in and fill in for her that we completely trust and can play behind.”

The Cats’ offense went to work again in the top of the sixth, this time with small ball. Junior Robin Thompson led off the inning with a double and moved to third on an infield single by Allard. After Allard stole her second base of the day, Scharkey hit a sacrifice fly to left that put NU ahead 7-3.

“We have a lot of slappers in the lineup,” Pauly said. “But we also have a lot of power. On certain days it’s small ball that wins us games, and on other days it’s the long ball that wins us games.”

After Smith allowed three runs in the sixth, the game was suspended in the top of the seventh because of rain.

The Cats return to Sharon J. Drysdale Field on Wednesday for a doubleheader against Illinois-Chicago.

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Softball: Wildcats pounce on Hoosiers early and often in rain-shortened weekend