NU wins series 2-1 against No. 23 Michigan
By Ashley Tumpowsky
- 4/1: 4-3 win over Michigan (9 inn.)
- 4/3: 6-4 win over Michigan
- 4/3: 3-8 loss vs Michigan
Northwestern softball continued its strong season this past weekend against No. 23 Michigan, taking two of three games in the series.
No. 9 Northwestern took on the Wolverines at Sharon J. Drysdale field on Friday for the first game of the series. After falling to an early 3-0 deficit, senior Maeve Nelson gave the ‘Cats their first points of the day with a solo home run in the second inning.
The next three frames were scoreless for both teams; however, in the bottom of the sixth, Rachel Lewis and Jordyn Rudd were able to follow in Nelson’s footsteps, hitting back to back solo home runs to tie the game. The 3-3 score remained through the end of regulation, until Rudd banged a single in the ninth with the bases loaded to give Northwestern the walk-off victory.
Notably, Northwestern pitcher Danielle Williams continued her outstanding play. She struck out 16 players over the course of nine innings and allowed just two runs off of five hits. This game marked Northwestern’s first win over Michigan at home since 2009.
But the craziness did not stop there.
The second game of the series was forced to come to a halt in the top of the third due to bad weather in Evanston on Saturday. It was eventually postponed to the next day, making Sunday a doubleheader for the two ranked teams.
Trailing 4-2 going into the sixth, Northwestern needed some more late inning magic to prolong its 13-game winning streak. In the sixth inning, the comeback ‘Cats got to work once again. Lewis blasted a three-run home run to give the ‘Cats their first lead of the game, before Rudd provided more separation with a solo shot of her own. After Williams struck out in the top of the seventh, Northwestern notched its second win of the series.
Despite the positive momentum going for the Wildcats, the Wolverines were able to split the doubleheader by winning the series finale later that day. The majority of the game was close, but five Michigan homers in the seventh secured them the 8-3 win, snapping Northwestern’s 14-game win streak in the process.
Northwestern (24-5, 5-1 B1G) will take on another ranked opponent in No. 25 Notre Dame on Tuesday, April 5. This game, played in South Bend, Indiana,, is the beginning of a six-game stretch of road games for the Wildcats.