By Drew Myers
- 4/9/2019 – Northwestern vs. Milwaukee W 6-1
- 4/12/2019 – Maryland vs. Northwestern L 13-8
- 4/13/2019 – Maryland vs. Northwestern (Doubleheader) W 13-7 L 12-10
In Northwestern’s midweek game on April 9 the ‘Cats went right back to business, building off their three-game sweep against Ohio State the weekend of April 5. The win against Milwaukee on the road was the Wildcats’ eighth win in nine games. More significantly, it was the first time since 2016 that Northwestern was above .500. There was not a whole lot of offense for Northwestern, but they took advantage of the nine walks that were offered by a total of eight Milwaukee pitchers to score their six runs off only five hits. Northwestern only needed two pitchers in this game as Parker Hanks and Danny Katz combined for nine strikeouts and conceded just one earned run.
The ‘Cats lost the first game of the series against Maryland, breaking their four-game win streak, beforing splitting a doubleheader on Saturday. In the first game, Northwestern ace Quinn Lavelle, who came into the game with a 4.08 ERA, surrendered nine runs in four innings pitched. However, as the game got away from Northwestern, an explosion of runs in the bottom of the 4th inning brought the Wildcats within two runs. It was not enough though, as Maryland surged ahead in the end to win 13-8.
The doubleheader on Saturday featured plenty of Northwestern offense with the help of Jack Dunn, Alex Erro, and Shawn Goosenberg who had a combined 12 RBI in the two games. Despite the offensive explosion, the Wildcats just couldn’t hold off a dangerous Maryland lineup enough to sweep the doubleheader. After scoring 5 runs in the first two innings of game one, Northwestern gave up five runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the score. It was only after a six-run eighth inning were the Wildcats able to pull away for a 13-7 win.
That was not the case in the second game of the doubleheader as Northwestern was unable to outpace Maryland’s dynamic offense in a 12-10 loss. Northwestern committed three errors in the field, which didn’t help a struggling a bullpen that gave up seven earned runs and 13 hits.
- 4/12/2019 – Wisconsin vs. Northwestern W 4-1
- 4/13/2019 – Wisconsin vs. Northwestern (doubleheader) W 8-5 W 5-4 (10)
Another weekend, another sweep for Northwestern! The ‘Cats are in cruise control as they extend their record to 33-7 and maintain their undefeated 12-0 record in Big Ten play. After this weekend, Northwestern entered the USA Today top 25 rankings sitting at 22nd, putting the Wildcats in great position to potentially host a regional game in the NCAA Tournament.
In Northwestern’s first game, Danielle Williams once again proved that she is one of the best freshman pitchers in the NCAA. She pitched a complete game, firing nine strikeouts and surrendering only one run while throwing 130 pitches. Catcher Jordyn Rudd, first baseman Lily Novak, and Williams led the offense for the ‘Cats combing to have all three of the team’s hits and RBIs that game.
Rain on Sunday forced a double-header that Northwestern worked hard through. The first game of the doubleheader saw the lead change hands multiple times, but the fourth inning with Lewis’s three-run shot and Nelson’s solo homer proved to be enough. Northwestern used three pitchers this game: Kenna Wilkey, Kaley Winegarner, and Morgan Newport who combined to strike out six, but who also walked six. Winegarner got the win and Newport got the save.
The final game of the doubleheader was a 10-inning marathon in which starting pitcher Danielle Williams pitched all ten. Williams threw a total of 160 pitches and struck out five. Her total pitch count for the weekend was 290 pitches! Williams was finally relieved of her pitching duties for the weekend after Lily Novak homered in the tenth to send the Wildcats home as walk-off winners.
The Wildcats only had one game this week against one of the best teams in the nation, #2 Maryland. It was a close game through the 12-minute mark of the second half, but after thunderstorms forced the game inside to Ryan Fieldhouse, Maryland was able to pull away and seal the win. After the loss, Northwestern is 9-4 overall with a 3-1 conference record.
Selena Lasota reached her 50th goal of the season in this game and ended with a game-high six goals for the Wildcats. Izzy Scane scored three, while Lauren Gilber and Emily Stein each scored twice. On a positive note, the Wildcats’ 13 goals represent the most scored against the fearsome Maryland defense all season.
Northwestern only has three games left before the Big Ten Championship in Baltimore, but the Wildcats are in great shape to make the NCAA Tournament. However, those last three game are hardly a cake walk as Northwestern will face #8 Michigan at home on April 18, followed, by #6 Notre Dame in South Bend on April 20, and then Ohio State on the road on April 25.