Softball: Northwestern honors seniors with 3 wins against Purdue


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Krista Williams gets on base. The senior outfielder stole two bases and scored four runs over the weekend.

Evan Augeri, Reporter


Northwestern celebrated Senior Weekend by sweeping Purdue, climbing two spots in the Big Ten standings and extending its win streak to four games.

The Wildcats (20-23, 7-9 Big Ten) continued their march toward a .500 record by playing aggressive offense and composed defense against the Boilermakers (17-32, 6-11 Big Ten). The team notched a 12-4 run-rule victory Friday, a 6-0 shutout Saturday and a 6-3 win Sunday, building on an impressive defeat of DePaul last Wednesday.

NU’s graduating seniors — right fielder Anna Petersen, first baseman Alcy Bush and left fielder Krista Williams — were honored in their last series played at home.

“Our senior class is outstanding, and they’ve done such a great job of mentoring our younger players,” coach Kate Drohan said. “Alcy’s been our anchor defensively, Krista’s been our spark at the top of the order and Petey’s been the power hitter we’ve relied on this year.”

On Friday, Bush mashed a two-run, go-ahead home run in the fifth inning — the fifth of her career. And Petersen kept up her dominant season by reaching base six times in the series.

But the strongest statline belonged to Williams, who batted 6-of-11 with four runs scored and stole two bases over the weekend.

Williams said she enjoyed commemorating the careers of her classmates in front of a large and supportive crowd.

“It was cool to see all of the families here — two of us are from California — so it’s fun to see our families come out to the games,” Williams said. “We looked back a lot on the memories we’ve had. We’re a close class, so it was fun to celebrate each other.”

Williams was one of the NU batters who boosted the offense by running wild against the Boilermakers, contributing to the Cats’ 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Despite having the second-worst batting average in the Big Ten this season, NU leads the conference in stolen bases with 72, nearly two per game. No team besides Purdue, with 63, rivals the Cats in that category.

“(The baserunning) made a big difference,” Drohan said. “It’s basically an aggressive mindset, and that really helped us in our at-bats as well. We shifted into the next gear offensively, and were able to create a lot of havoc.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Kaley Winegarner continued her dominance on the mound, getting the save in Friday’s game and throwing a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts Saturday afternoon.

On the offensive side, junior catcher Sammy Nettling hit .714 with three doubles, junior centerfielder Sabrina Rabin stole three bases and junior infielder Brooke Marquez delivered a clutch single Sunday that plated three runs and put NU ahead for good.

“I feel like our whole team played really hard for our seniors, and that speaks to the relationship that the seniors have with our team,” Drohan said. “There was a lot of focus and a lot of great energy, and it was very meaningful for us.”

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