By Pat Timlin
Editor’s note: Each week, WNUR Sports recaps the news and results from the in-season, non-revenue teams that we cover in order to help our listeners and readers stay connected to the pulse of Northwestern athletics.
- 4/23/19 Northwestern vs UIC W 6-1
- 4/26/19 Northwestern at Michigan State L 8-3
- 4/27/19 Northwestern at Michigan State (DH) L 8-2 W 3-2
Looking to get back over .500, the ‘Cats hosted Chicago rival UIC in Evanston on Tuesday. The bats started hot for Northwestern in the first, with RBI singles from Willie Bourbon and David Dunn. After that, the ‘Cats would not surrender the lead the rest of the game as Parker Hanks and the NU bullpen surrendered only one run in the third and nothing else, thanks to tough defense getting them out of jams. The game was put out of reach in the 8th after a Leo Kaplan solo shot to left, as Northwestern won their first game of the week 6-1.
Over the weekend Spencer Allen’s team traveled to East Lansing, Michigan to take on the Spartans in a three-game series, looking to make the Big Ten Tournament. The action started Friday with southpaw Quinn Lavelle on the mound. The offense picked up right where it left off, with another Willie Bourbon RBI single in the first. However, Lavelle gave up 10 hits and four runs in less than five innings of work. It’s the third time in his last four outings opposing batters have gotten nine or more hits. After he was pulled in the fifth, Michigan State continued to put up runs deep into the game and won 8-3.
Saturday marked the seventh double header of the year for the ‘Cats, yet they were unable to make it the first in which they won both. A two-out rally in the first put the Spartans up two, but the ‘Cats scored a run in the third and fourth inning to tie it up. Then Mike Doherty lost his command in the fifth inning and gave up a pair of runs. Northwestern did not score the rest of the game, Michigan State went on to win 8-2 and Doherty suffered his first loss of the season.
The final game of the weekend took place directly after, with Northwestern looking to leave the state of Michigan with a win. The finale turned out to be the pitching duel of the series, as neither started allowed more than two runs. Thanks to a fifth inning double by Alex Erro, the ‘Cats secured a 2-1 lead. The Spartans tied things up after a Marty Bechina home in the 6th but that was all the scoring they could muster. The game headed to extras and Shawn Goosenberg scored off a David Dunn sac-fly. Jack Pagliarini came in for a two-out save, his first of the season and Northwestern won 3-2.
- 4/23/19 Northwestern vs. Illinois (DH) W 8-0 (5), W 4-2
- 4/26/19 Northwestern at Michigan State W 10-4
- 4/27/19 Northwestern at Michigan State (DH) W 6-2, W 10-1
Northwestern came into this week undefeated in Big Ten play and winners of their last 15 contests. Looking to keep the momentum, they hosted Illinois on Tuesday for a double-header. The ‘Cats started the scoring off early, putting up three runs in the first due to some questionable defense from the Illini. Danielle Williams pitched a complete game shutout and chipped in a two-run home run of her own, as the team finished with three long balls on the game. The second started immediately after the first, with Williams still on the mound. She pitched another five-innings this game, pushing her to 159 pitches on the day. She got all the run support she needed in the bottom of the third from a Jordyn Rudd grand slam, as Northwestern also won the second game, final score of 4-2.
The ‘Cats softball team joined the baseball team in East Lansing over the weekend, but found themselves on the winning side of the series. The first game of the series was defined by a nine-run fourth inning, in which the ‘Cats completely opened up the game. It took pressure off starter Kenna Wilkey, who went the distance and finished with 14 strikeouts. The Spartans were never able to overcome the deficit, losing 10-4.
Saturday’s double header began like Tuesday’s, as the ‘Cats put up two runs in the first and Williams remained dominant in the circle. Rachel Lewis sparked the offense multiple times, as she got on base three times with a walk, RBI double in the fifth and solo shot in the seventh. ‘Cats rolled to 6-2 victory, granting them another series victory on the year. The next game started with a Northwestern hit-parade, resulting in an 8-1 lead by the end of the third inning. It was the bat of Maeve Nelson this time, who had 3 hits, 4 RBIs and a solo shot in the fifth. Kaley Winegarner improved to 5-1 on the season after only surrendering a single run, as Northwestern took the final game 10-1 and swept Michigan State.
- 4/25/2019 Northwestern at Ohio State W 17-12
The Wildcats closed out their season on Thursday against the Ohio State Buckeyes, looking to tune up before the Big Ten tournament. They won the contest 17-12, improving their record to 12-4 on the year, 5-1 in the Big Ten.
The ‘Cats were led in scoring by Senior Selena Lasota, as she finished with six on the day and the regular season with 65. First year phenom Izzy Shane continued her success with four goals of her own and Mallory Weisse stopped 10 shots.
The ‘Cats secured the 2nd seed in the Big Ten tournament at John Hopkins University. They will play Michigan on Friday, the winner of which will play in the championship on Sunday vs. the winner of Maryland and Penn State.