Softball routs No.22 Ohio State in weather-shortened series

    If you hated going outdoors this past weekend, that’s totally understandable. It was rainy, somewhat snowy and overall a sad excuse for spring weather.

    Northwestern softball (25-13, 8-5 B1G) wasn’t excused from the elements. What was supposed to be a three-game series against a No. 22 Ohio State team turned into a weather-delayed, partially-canceled mess.

    But the ’Cats took their two games and brought the thunder, defeating the Buckeyes (26-10) twice in six innings, 10-2 on Friday and 14-6 on Sunday. Northwestern improved their conference record to 8-5 and increased their home winning streak to four games. The series was a stark contrast to their tough losses at Purdue a week earlier, demonstrating that Coach Kate Drohan’s team is, in fact, a serious Big Ten contender.

    Friday’s game saw Northwestern go on a late-game 8-run surge, thanks in large part to Rachel Lewis and Morgan Nelson. Both hit home runs in the fifth-inning and were walked with bases loaded in the sixth. On Sunday, an early and messy 0-4 deficit did not deter the Wildcats. They would score in every inning, capitalizing on many Buckeye mistakes (including six errors) throughout the game. The turning point came in the top of the fifth, when Northwestern plated two in a tie game without getting the ball out of the infield.

    Kenna Wilkey posted two complete games, allowing a total of just eleven hits and seven earned runs, reaching eleven wins on the season. Lewis had a team-high six RBIs throughout the series, helped by her four total bases-loaded walks. Marissa Panko led Northwestern with five total hits.

    Saturday’s game was originally intended to be a part of Sunday’s doubleheader, but it was later canceled, along with Tuesday’s home game against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The ’Cats head to the east coast this weekend for a series against Rutgers.


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