Northwestern softball advances to Big Tens semifinals
The Wildcats (26-25) beat Ohio State (33-18-1) in thrilling fashion on Friday, bringing in a tight 3-1 win after scoring three runs in the first frame. Although the Cats would not score any additional runs throughout the matchup, it was team’s defense that led the charge, guaranteeing that NU will finish with at least a .500 record to maintain eligibility for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth.
A fly-out from senior shortstop Andrea Filler in the first helped the Cats strike first, followed two batters later by a groundout from sophomore catcher Sammy Nettling for another RBI. Sophomore second baseman Brooke Marquez then smashed a double into centerfield to put the Cats up 3-0.
The Buckeyes’ Cammi Prantl would score OSU’s lone run in the fourth inning, but NU’s Kristen Wood and Amy Letourneau kept OSU’s batters at-bay for the rest of the matchup. Wood and Letourneau pitched more than three innings each, with only one run and five hits off both aces combined, and Letourneau earned the win in the 7th frame.
NU will advance to face the winner between Minnesota and Illinois in the semifinals.