No. 25 Northwestern walks off against Indiana to earn series sweep
EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 25 Northwestern earned a sweep of Indiana with a bases-loaded, walk-off single on Sunday in a 3-2 win.
With the series sweep, Northwestern improved to 27-11 overall on the season, 9-6 in the Big Ten. Indiana fell to 13-33-1 overall and 4-13 in the conference.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Marisa Bast led off with a single and moved to second when an Andrea DiPrima sacrifice bunt was bobbled for an error. Anna Edwards then put a ball in play to the pitcher, who tried to get the lead out at third but was late with the throw, loading the bases with no outs.
Indiana got a strikeout of the next batter, but Paige Tonz drove her second RBI single of the game over the head of the centerfielder to give the Wildcats a 3-2 win.
Northwestern starter Kristen Wood, who entered Sunday with 24 strikeouts in 11.0 innings this week, kept that pace going by striking out the Indiana side to start the game in the top of the first.
The Wildcats put a pair on base in the bottom of the first but did not break through on the scoreboard until the second. Brianna LeBeau was hit by the very first pitch of that frame and moved to second on a wild pitch. Tonz attempted to sacrifice her to third, but the bunt was somewhat contentiously called foul near/on the plate. Instead, Tonz drove the next pitch into center for an RBI single and a 1-0 Northwestern lead.
The inning continued with a Julia Kuhn single to right, then, with two outs and runners at second and third, Mari Majam ripped a single through the third baseman that brought Tonz in for a 2-0 NU lead heading to the third.
Wood retired the Indiana side in order in the top of the third, then Indiana sent lefty Meaghan Murphy to the circle in relief of right-handed starter Lora Olson. DiPrima greeted her with a sharp single to center and gave way to pinch runner Fran Strub at first. Later, with one out, Indiana turned a hard-hit line drive to short into a double play to escape the inning.
Indiana brought the game back to all square in the top of the fifth. After a leadoff walk, the next batter hit a perfectly placed triple in right center field before coming home herself on a safety squeeze to knot the score, 2-2.
After the scoring rally, Wood did her part to keep the score tied by fanning the side (working around a two-out walk while doing so) in the top of the sixth to reach nine strikeouts in the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tonz drew a one-out walk followed by a Kuhn two-out walk. At that point, Indiana brought its third pitcher into the game in the form of Brooke Boetjer. Emily Allard oaded the bases with an infield single, then Indiana made the play of the series. Majam sent a soft fly ball to left field and Jenna Abraham came sprinting in and went into a headlong dive to glove the ball just above the grass to keep the score tied, 2-2.
Indiana made a bid to take the lead in the top of the seventh when, with runners at first and second and two outs, the batter singled into shallow center. Allard flew like the Flash to the ball, picked it up and fired a one-hop strike to Tonz at home to easily put out the lead Hoosier runner and end the inning and set up the walk off.
Wood (15-5) earned the complete-game victory, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks with nine strikeouts.
Tonz led NU at the plate with two hits and two RBIs. DiPrima also had a pair of base knocks.