By: Tim Hackett
It was a weekend of mixed results for Northwestern’s teams on the diamond, as baseball split its weekend series with Pacific, and softball won two of five games in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, including a win over the 11th-ranked team in the country.
In Stockton, California, Reed Mason pitched five innings of one-run ball to lead Northwestern to a 3-1 win over Pacific in the series opener Friday. Then the Tigers got their first two wins of the season with wins in both legs of Saturday’s doubleheader, which both came by identical 7-3 scores. Northwestern’s Joe Hoscheit notched three hits and an RBI in the first game, while Matt Hopfner led the way with two RBI in the second. The Wildcats got back on track in a big way in the final game of the series, erupting for a 14-5 victory, led by four RBI from Willie Bourbon and 4.2 innings of one-run ball from reliever Jake Stolley. Northwestern’s record stands at 4-4 following series splits with both Pacific and Nevada, and the Wildcats will next take on UIC on March 2, before traveling to Port Charlotte, Florida next weekend for a set of games against Saint Leo, Butler, Boston College, and Illinois State.
Out in Cathedral City, California, the softball team ran into some stiff competition in its third tournament of the year. Northwestern opened the weekend with a 5-3 loss to 12-1 Oregon State before routing New Mexico State 12-4 in six innings. In the second game, Amy Letourneau tied a school record with eight RBI in a single game on the strength of two home runs. The ‘Cats faced their first ranked opponent of the weekend Saturday morning in #8 Georgia, and the Bulldogs rallied with three runs in the top of the seventh, the final run coming off a wild pitch, to win the game 5-4. Later that day, 20th-ranked Fresno State scored the tying run in the top of the 7th before hitting two homers in the top of the 8th to take a 6-4 win. But Northwestern rocked the softball world Sunday, knocking off 11th-ranked UCLA 7-2, led by two RBI from Andrea Filler and a complete-game from Letourneau. The ‘Cats are now 7-7 on the season, and will head next to Fullerton, California to compete in the Judi Garman Classic against the likes of Fresno State and Arizona State.