After a rough week, Northwestern Softball and Lacrosse got back on track this week, sweeping their five games. Northwestern Softball swept Iowa, topping the Hawkeyes in a doubleheader on Saturday, 13-9 and 6-5, and on Sunday, 9-5. And Northwestern Lacrosse absolutely decimated Michigan on Thursday, 20-4, before topping No. 5 Notre Dame, 17-12 on Sunday. So let’s take a look at the NUmbers behind the past week in Northwestern Softball and Lacrosse.
It’s been a tough sophomore season for Selena Lasota. After breaking out last season and scoring 69 goals, Lasota only had 15 goals through the first eight games of 2016. But this past week against Michigan and Notre Dame, Lasota almost doubled her goal total this season, scoring 11 goals. Lasota had six goals against Michigan, tying a career high, and five against Notre Dame as the ‘Cats scored 37 goals in two games, after scoring just 17 last week against Maryland and Penn.
To quote Kelly Amonte Hiller: “Win the draw, rule the world.” And against Notre Dame and Michigan, the ‘Cats continued their recent trend of winning the draw. Against Michigan, the ‘Cats won the draw control battle 19-6, and against Notre Dame, Northwestern won the draw 20-11. The Wildcats have excelled with Shelby Fredericks in the draw circle; Fredericks has 74 draw controls on the year, and if she continues her pace in the circle, she could easily top 100 on the season.
Last week, the ‘Cats turned the ball over 29 times, and while Northwestern had more turnovers this week (33), their turnover differential was lower. Last week, the ‘Cats turnover differential was -6, and this week it was -2. While the ‘Cats did play tougher competition last week and 4 turnovers isn’t a huge difference, moving forward, Northwestern certainly needs to cut down on their turnovers, because teams like Maryland and UNC will take advantage if they don’t.
Amy Letourneau had an absolute monster day against Iowa on Saturday. In the first game, Letourneau got the start and picked up the win, pitching 5 and 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts. But not only did she dominate in the circle, Letourneau was also on fire at the plate, tying her career high with 8 RBIs as she slugged a three-run homer and a grand slam, going 3 for 4 at the plate. In the second game, Letourneau had another three-run home run, giving her a total off 11 RBI on the day.
After allowing an average of 11 runs per game in their last weekend series, the ‘Cats pitching stepped up against Iowa, albeit a lesser foe than Minnesota, allowing just 9.3 runs per game. In game one, Letourneau had a little trouble with the Hawkeyes, allowing three first inning runs before settling down. In game two, Kenzie Ellis was dominant through 6 before having some trouble in the seventh, and in game three Ellis, Letourneau and Kaley Winegarner held the Hawkeyes to just five runs on 10 hits. The ‘Cats pitching over the weekend was much improved and Kristen Wood didn’t even see the field. If they can continue to pitch well, the ‘Cats will have a good shot to make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament and possibly reach the NCAA Tournament.