Softball: Wildcats steamroll Blue Demons in five innings


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Julia Kuhn takes a pitch. The senior clubbed two hits and recorded two RBI in Northwestern’s blowout of DePaul.

Melissa Haniff, Reporter


Since 2009, the home team between a Northwestern and DePaul softball matchup has come away with the win. This time was no different — the Cats came out on top at Evanston’s Sharon J. Drysdale Field on Wednesday.

NU (25-19, 12-7 Big Ten) was able to close out the game quickly after scoring 9 runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The win against DePaul (20-22, 11-3 Big East) continues the history between the two teams, while also giving the Cats momentum as they head into a crucial Big Ten series against Iowa this weekend.

Although DePaul struck first with a solo home run from pitcher Mary Connolly, NU got back on the board in style with a 2-run homer to the right field bleachers from senior rightfielder Andrea DiPrima.

NU’s offense in the bottom of the fourth gave them the momentum to pull away and secure the run-rule after a 3-1 start by the Cats. The Cats began to rally for base hits, and after scoring a run off of a hit by pitch and walks, a 2-run ground rule double by senior first baseman Julia Kuhn made the score 6-1 in favor of NU.

The Cats then went on to score 6 more runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Kuhn’s homer followed by walks to senior leftfielder Olivia Duehr and freshman second baseman Brooke Marquez. With the score at 7-1 due to an RBI from walks, a 2-run single by Edwards and a 3-run homer by junior Brianna LeBeau closed out the inning.

LeBeau’s home run to the left field bleachers was her sixth of the year, and came after a quick 0-2 count from Connolly.

“I just wanted to put the ball in play and it was a quick two strikes,” she said. “I half swung, sent one over and it felt really good.”

Another stellar performance from junior pitcher Kristen Wood left the Blue Demons shaking their heads, with DePaul only managing two hits against the ace throughout the game. Wood ended the game with eight strikeouts and moved to 14-8 on the season.

LeBeau emphasized Wood’s play as a key aspect of the win, noting that supplementing Wood’s play with offensive power will be key in getting wins against Iowa.

“We play really all around when our offense is there,” LeBeau said. “We need to take that offensive momentum and also stand behind Kristen because she’s doing a heck of a job out there.”

Coach Kate Drohan agreed with LeBeau and said she knows the team will use today’s win as momentum against another Big Ten opponent.

“We’re excited about our opportunity this weekend and we like going to Iowa,” Drohan said. “It’s about playing the way we know we can play. To finish the game in five today was critical for us, especially for Kristen Wood.”

The Cats will play their last regular season Big Ten series in Iowa City beginning May 1.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @melissahaniff