Non-Rev Recap: May 6-May 9
By Raymond Chen
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.
Results: Road series vs. Minnesota
- 5/6: 0-8 loss (5 inn.)
- 5/7: 0-8 loss (5 inn.)
- 5/8: 3-1 win
Northwestern came into Minneapolis being crowned 2022 Big Ten Regular Season champions. But the ‘Cats were unable to pull out a final series win before the Big Ten tournament, going 1-2 against the Golden Gophers this past weekend.
In the first game of the series, Northwestern had a difficult time creating scoring opportunities on offense. Minnesota pitcher Emily Leavitt limited the regular season champions to only three hits on the day, resulting in a shutout. While the ‘Cats struggled at bat, the Golden Gophers did not. CF Natalie DenHartog led her team with three runs and Minnesota took a commanding 8-0 win after the fifth.
Saturday’s game was not much different. The ‘Cats were once again shut out by Minnesota’s pitcher Autumn Pease and were unable to stop the Golden Gopher offense, which notched at least one run in each inning.
On Sunday, Northwestern seemed like a completely different team. Opening the game off of back-to-back walks, Rachel Lewis stole second and third base, boosting the ‘Cats to a 3-0 lead after the bottom of the first. Unlike in the first game of the series, Williams was able to keep the Golden Gophers to only one score in the contest and lead her team to the 3-1 victory.
After this series, the ‘Cats are now 39-9 overall and 19-4 in conference play. On Thursday, they will play in the second round Big Ten Tournament where they will take on the winner of Minnesota vs. Wisconsin.
Results: Home series vs. Ohio State
- 5/7: 6-14 loss, 9-25 loss
- 5/8: 5-6 loss
This weekend, Northwestern seemed completely outmatched, losing all three games in the series against Ohio State.
In the first of a Saturday doubleheader, the ‘Cats were able to hang with the Buckeyes for the majority of the game. Anthony Calarco started it off with an early score in the first inning and Jay Beshears carried the team with three runs in the match. But Northwestern had no answers in the ninth inning where Ohio State added eight runs to their total and walked away with the 14-6 victory.
The second game of the double header seemed to be much more of a struggle for the Wildcats. In his 5.0 innings pitched, Ohio State’s Isaiah Coupet threw nine strikeouts and allowed zero runs. While Northwestern found no success, Ohio State’s offense flourished, taking a 23-0 lead by the bottom of the fifth. Blayne Robinson, Brent Todys and Trey Lipsey lead the Buckeyes with four runs each in the contest. Despite a 9-2 run by the ‘Cats, it was just too little too late and Northwestern walked away with their largest loss of the season.
Sunday’s matchup was much closer than the previous two. The ‘Cats started strong with a score in the first inning, but the Buckeyes responded with three runs of their own in the third and fourth, taking a 3-1 lead. The momentum appeared to change in favor of Northwestern in the bottom of the sixth. After giving up one score in the top of the sixth, the Wildcats capitalized on having all bases loaded and tied up the game. But, their efforts were just not enough as Ohio State made two late runs to take the 6-5 win and complete their series sweep.
Results: Big Ten Tournament First Round vs. Rutgers
- 5/6: 5-13 loss
It was a tough night for No. 2-seed Northwestern as they traveled to Piscataway, NJ to face No. 3-seed Rutgers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The game was close through the first quarter, with Lauren Gilbert and Jill Girardi each putting one through the net for the ‘Cats. But Rutgers quickly took command of the game, going on a 8-1 run in the second and third quarters combined, led by five goals from Junior Cassidy Spilis.
While the Wildcats continued to fight, it was clear that they had dug themselves too big of a hole and the Scarlet Knights walked away with the win. Rutgers went on to fall to No. 1-seed Maryland 18-8 in the Big Ten Tournament championship.
After the game, the ‘Cats moved to 13-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference. Despite their loss, they were given the No. 4-seed in the NCAA tournament and will host Central Michigan (12-7, 8-2 MAC) on Friday for the first round. Central Michigan will be making its first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament after winning their conference championship.