Softball: Wildcats win one, fall to ranked opponents in Mary Nutter Classic


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Maeve Nelson catches a pop fly. Northwestern participated in the Mary Nutter Classic this weekend.

Sophia Scanlan, Development and Recruitment Editor


In a weekend filled with ranked opponents, near-wins and even a grand slam, Northwestern only managed to take one out of five games during the Mary Nutter Classic.

The Wildcats (5-9) dropped the first two on Friday, lost close games to Auburn and No. 7 Florida, and fell to No. 15 Oregon the next morning.

NU’s lone victory came against Long Beach State (8-7) on Saturday afternoon in a game that didn’t look promising for the Cats at first. The Dirtbags piled on three runs in the first inning after stringing a few hits together and taking advantage of an error from sophomore center fielder Skyler Shellmyer.

Two innings later, NU started to come back after freshman left fielder Angela Zedak scored on a throwing error and sophomore catcher Jordyn Rudd drove in junior second baseman Rachel Lewis on a dribbler to second.

Though the lead went back and forth the next few innings, senior designated player Morgan Newport sealed the deal for the Cats in the sixth when she drilled a grand slam out to left.

“I just really wanted to come through for my team in that moment,” Newport said. “My team just always has my back, and I love knowing that…They’re all there for me, so it was a really great moment.”

Another star hitter of the weekend was Lewis, who launched a double and two homers this weekend — one of which happened an inning after Newport’s.

Coach Kate Drohan said she’s been happy with Lewis’ development both this season and in her time on the team.

“She’s been outstanding,” Drohan said. “Her work is great, but I really feel she’s matured as a ballplayer and she’s taking what the game gives her, and she’s been clutch for us, so I’m proud of her.”

However, NU’s bats weren’t as loud against No. 2 Washington on Sunday.

The Cats took the lead first, after Lewis was hit by a pitch, stole second and sped home off a wild pitch. But the Huskies answered an inning later and took a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh, with the score the same, Zedak lobbed a single to right, bringing in Rudd to tie things up.

“I just really tried focusing in and putting all my effort towards helping the team, scoring a run, (and) doing anything to keep it going,” Zedak said.

However, the Cats couldn’t finish it and lost 3-2 on a walk-off solo shot from Huskies pitcher Kelley Lynch.

Despite the outcome, Newport said she’s not worried about the team’s performance against Washington or the other opponents this weekend.

“Losing a close game is never easy — it’s always a tough thing — but the pieces are still coming together as a team,” Newport said. “And we’re really learning every game and that’s what matters more than anything.”

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