Softball: No. 24 Northwestern looks to maintain its near-perfect record in four-game series against Maryland

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Daily File Photo by Katie Pach

Rachel Lewis prepares to hit the ball. The second baseman has a .357 batting average this season.

Skye Swann, Assistant Sports Editor


Softball


No. 24 Northwestern (15-1, 15-1 Big Ten) is hitting the road this weekend for a four game series against Maryland (7-9, 7-9 Big Ten). 

Since its only loss of the season against Ohio State on Mar. 13, the Wildcats have won six straight games, including a 4-0 sweep against Wisconsin. After an 11-12 record during a 2020 season cut short by COVID-19, NU is now first in the Big Ten behind strong performances from various players. 

This season, some of those athletes include graduate pitcher Morgan Newport, sophomore pitcher Sydney Supple and junior pitcher Danielle Williams.

Newport — who was named a Big Ten Player of the Week last week — leads the team in home runs with three for the season. Against the Badgers, she held the team scoreless for a career-high 13.1 innings. Supple batted 5-for-10 and contributed two homers during the weekend, while Williams ended the series with her eighth straight win. She has yet to lose a game this season.

Meanwhile, junior center fielder Skyler Shellmeyer leads the team with a .444 batting average in 2021. 

While the Cats are coming into the Maryland series with a lot of momentum, the team needs to look out for Terrapins pitcher Courtney Wyche. She held Ohio State to just two earned runs and five strikeouts in their contest on March 27.

As a result, NU may rely on its offensive dominance to beat Maryland, since the Terrapins allowed nine runs in their last matchup.

After this weekend, the Cats have series against Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue and Nebraska. With four more wins heading into these matchups, NU will likely have the attention of the entire conference. 

 

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