Northwestern vs. Tennessee Game Preview
June 3, 2007
After succombing to Washington 9-0 in five innings Friday night, Northwestern's bats came alive in the Saturday's must-win game against Baylor, 7-0 in an elimination game Saturday night.
The Bears advanced after handing pitcher Amanda Scarborough and Texas A&M a 7-4 loss earlier in the day.
The Wildcats now have the daunting task of beating the Tennessee Lady Vols twice to make it into the championship series as four teams remain at the College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The top half the NU's line-up showed why they are ranked 12th in slugging percentage in the nation. The first five batters combined for three homeruns while catcher Erin Dyer recorded a 2-for-4 at the plate to record six of the Wildcat's seven hits in the game. Breaking out of a three game slump was All-American first baseman Garland Cooper, whose solo blast in the second was her first hit of the tournament.
Northwestern ace Eileen Canney cemented her name atop the Wildcat record books with her five hit complete game shut out of Baylor. With the win, Canney tied three-time All-American Lisa Ishikawa's single-season (33) and career (97) wins records.
The hurler from Paradise, Calif. will look to pass Ishikawa in Sunday's game against its Midwest counterpart in the Lady Vols and pitcher Monica Abbott. Northwestern evened up the overall series with Tennessee 3-3 in last year's second round of the College World Series. Canney controlled the game with her one-hit 10 strikeout appearance in NU's 2-0 victory. Abbott was just as dominating recording 15 strikeouts while permitting two earned runs on five hits that included Darcy Sengewald's solo bomb in the seventh inning.
While she may be able to only run in a straight line because of a recently torn ACL injury, newly appointed designated hitter India Chiles has lead Tennessee in this College World Series. Chiles manufactured the only hits Arizona hurler Taryne Mowatt succeeded as the Lady Vol's pushed past the Wildcats, 1-0, in a game that started late Friday night and finished early Saturday morning. Chiles is 3-for-7 (.429) overall in the tournament.
Like in the past, Sunday's game promises to be a well-matched pitching duel. Both teams have been carried by their pitchers throughout this post-season and depending upon which veteran pitcher has enough fuel left will decide the outcome.