Friday, May 11, 2007

'Cats Win 5-2

Coach Drohan threw a curveball to Wildcat fans prior to the game, announcing Eileen Canney would start for the second straight day. Drohan's move to keep freshman phenom Lauren Delaney on the bench raised some eyebrows, and it wasn't looking good at the start.

Canney gave up a run in a sloppy 2nd inning that included a horrendous throwing error by the pitcher on a routine ground ball. Canney fielded the ball, turned to first and threw the ball directly into the ground, way short of first base. Michigan added another run in the 3rd and NU was trailing 2-0 when they came up in the bottom of the 4th.

As I sat in the stands prematurely preparing for a trip home, the Northwestern bats woke up. The 'Cats mounted a rally as the Michigan fans and coaching staff groaned in reaction to several pitches that appeared to be over the plate were called balls. With the bases loaded, Wolverine starter Nikki Nemitz hit Erin Dyer to force in a run. She then forced in another run with a walk to Jessica Rigas and the game was tied.

In came Michigan ace Lorilyn Wilson from the bullpen to try to get the Wolverines out of the jam. She promptly gave up a 2-run double to Jessica Miller and the 'Cats grabbed the lead.

NU would add another run on an RBI double from Garland Cooper in the 4th.

Drohan showed further confidence in Canney by keeping her in the game despite early struggles. The senior repaid her by dominating the rest of the way. The last 3 innings were uneventful as NU closed out their hated rivals and cemented their spot in tomorrow's title game.

WNUR will have full coverage beginning at 11:45AM CT with the pregame show. Guy Benson and yours truly will be on the call as the 'Cats go for the championship against the winner of tonight's Purdue-OSU matchup.

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