The NUmbers Guy – Northwestern Softball’s Three-Headed Monster

The NUmbers Guy, Jim Sannes, looks at the numbers that make Wildcat hitters Emily Allard, Adrienne Monka and Marisa Bast deadly at the plate.

April could not have come soon enough. The words “March” and “Northwestern” have generally gone together as well as Anthony Davis and a razor (kiss that Gillette endorsement deal goodbye, Sonny Boy). Now that the pain of watching those “other Wildcats” celebrate a national championship win is gone, we can shift our focus to other things, such as baseball, softball, lacrosse and “classes.” What better elixir to cleanse the tears of the basketball season than a three-women killing machine at the top of the Northwestern softball team’s order? The triplets of Emily Allard, Adrienne Monka and Marisa Bast make Aikman, Irvin and Smith blush; let’s take a look at the numbers and show you why.

.482: The average on-base percentage of the three women.

With all four of these hitters batting in the top four spots in the order, that means that almost one fourth of the time, at least two of them will get on base each time through the order. This statistic is the kind of thing that makes Billy Beane foam at the eyeballs (don’t picture that). Runners on base lead to runs (visionary stuff, here), and I’ve been told by a credible source that if you score more runs, you win. When you add to this the fact that Bast and Monka are mashing the ball for power this year, you get a highly potent offense, and an offense that has led to victories in three of the last four games the ‘Cats have played.

19: Number of stolen bases for Allard this season.

Emily Allard gets a single. She steals second. The sun sets in the west. The Cubs don’t win the World Series. These are just facts of life that we have all come to live with. Allard recorded 34 steals her freshman year and 45 as a sophomore, exhibiting the speed of a cheetah, awareness of the Secret Service and coolness of Don Draper. Although Allard only has three extra-base hits this season, she makes up for this with her base-running abilities, getting herself in scoring position for the rest of the line-up.

1.277: You decide!

Is this a) Marisa Bast’s OPS (the sum of on-base and slugging percentage), b) my GPA, or c) the number of times I have listened to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”? If you guessed a), you’re right. Yay. If you guessed b), you’re clearly a regular reader of this column, but, still, ouch. If you guessed c), you’d be right… if we were talking about the number of times I’d listened to that song in the last five minutes. I just can’t get enough. Bast has 14 extra-base hits in her 96 at-bats, which means that she gets at least a double 14 percent of the time. Of those 14, eight have been home runs, the highest total on the team. Monka isn’t too far behind her with an OPS of 1.129 and seven home runs in 79 at-bats. If Monka and Bast didn’t get walked so often, they would probably have 10 home runs a piece by this point in the season. #BastMode #MonkaMash

48.8: Percentage of the team’s RBI’s recorded by these three.

Bast, Monka and Allard have driven in 36, 27 and 16 runs, respectively, representing a large majority of the runs produced on the team. This number would be even higher if pitchers weren’t so afraid to pitch to Monka and Bast. Despite this great production, these hitters aren’t afraid to give themselves up for the team. All three have at least one sacrifice on the season, and Monka leads the team with four. This team without these three would be nearly barren, but it would still have the best blog of any college softball player in the country. If you haven’t done so yet, give Kristin Scharkey’s “Schark Bytes” a try some time. It’s certainly better than this crap you’re reading now.

2: The number of chances you’ll have to hear this trio in action this weekend on WNUR!

The team hosts Iowa this weekend, hoping to do what the baseball team did to that other corn-dwelling team last week in their dismantling of Nebraska. WNUR will be broadcasting both games of the double-header Saturday, starting with Game 1 at 12:00 on our internet-only stream. Matt Keith and Cameron Songer will bring you that action on Cameron’s birthday. I bought him a puppy. Don’t tell, or I’ll have to bring it back. We will move to being on the air at 2:00, when I will join you along with Greg Mroz for the second game. It’ll be as exciting as seeing a humpback whale ride a dolphin while singing Lady Gaga in Spanish. My giblets are tingling just thinking about it.

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