After three rough games in Ann Arbor last weekend, the Wildcats came out on top against Maryland and won the home weekend series, 2-1.
Northwestern (15-20, 3-6 B1G) got off to a hot start on Friday, winning 11-6, and edged out the Terrapins (8-28-1, 1-8 BIG) again with a 6-5 victory on Saturday. The ‘Cats were defeated in the third game by only one run and ended the series with a 5-4 loss.
In the first inning of Friday’s game, the ‘Cats scored six runs in response to Maryland’s three. After a run by Sabrina Rabin, a triple to right field by Brooke Marquez plated Marissa Panko and Krista Williams. Marquez scored on a single by Morgan Newport, and Rabin then added 2 RBI of her own on a single for a six run inning. Rabin tallied two more runs later in the game and Panko added another, ending the ‘Cats with 11 runs for their 24 at bats.
Looking for another high-scoring win, the ‘Cats also got off to a quick start on Saturday – Northwestern scored three runs that would keep them up until the fourth inning. Maryland scored three runs of their own in the top of the fourth, but the Wildcats responded with three more in the bottom of the inning and only allowed the Terrapins to make it around the bases one more time during the game. Rabin led the team again offensively, racking up a run and 2 RBI.
A close game on Sunday afternoon resulted in Maryland’s first Big Ten win of the season. NU scored again in the first inning, but Maryland went up by four in the second. While Northwestern scored again in the bottom of the third and the defense held the Terps scoreless for the rest of the game, the ‘Cats couldn’t find home plate again and fell short by a run.
Kaley Winegarner (W, 4-3) pitched 5.1 innings of Friday’s game, allowing nine hits on 122 pitches. On Saturday, Nicole Bond (W, 3-6) started in the circle, allowing 5 hits on 84 pitches, and she also took over on Sunday after Kenzie Ellis (L, 3-7) was pulled after 1.1 innings.
Despite this series win, Northwestern is still tied for second to last in the Big Ten standings right now. The ‘Cats will get a break from conference play on Wednesday when they visit Loyola, but then a road series at No. 6 Minnesota (35-3, 8-1 B1G) will test the strong offense the ‘Cats showed over the weekend.