NW rallies to beat Pirates
Northwestern pitcher Tori Papp was hoping for an early lead in Friday's game against defending Colonial League champion Palisades.
But Pirate ace Krista Marrone made it close to impossible for the Tigers to honor that request holding them without a hit for the first five innings.
Unable to help out Papp early in the game, Northwestern made up for it late.
The Tigers rallied with a four-run sixth inning to stun the Pirates, 4-3.
"I told my teammates that we had to get on the scoreboard first," Papp said. "But, it obviously didn't happen that way. They got the first three runs, but what counts is that we came back.
"It was amazing. I still can't believe we pulled it out."
In the second inning, the Pirates' Jackie Gruber and Stacey Hanisek recorded base hits off of Papp. With two outs, Tiffany Hendricks delivered a triple to right field, which plated Gruber and Hanisek.
In the fifth, the Pirates' capitalized on a Tiger miscue to take a quick 3-0 lead. Ellie Giovino layed down a bunt, but because of a throwing error she made it all the way around to home plate as the ball rolled into right field.
"Early in game, I had a bad feeling," said Northwestern coach Jen Horner. "They got a couple of hits and we had some errors which didn't help.
"But, I kept telling them if we get a couple runners on and we get that one key hit that we have been looking for, we're going to pull this out. That's what happened. They kept fighting and Tori pitched a phenomenal game."
It took the Tigers until the sixth to finally zone in on Morrone's offerings. Katie Williams got things started by hitting a bullet down the third base line, which ended up going off the Pirates' Sam Sherrard's glove and rolling into foul territory.
With Williams sitting in scoring position, Tiger leadoff hitter Lauren Horner delivered an RBI-triple to right centerfield to put the home team on the scoreboard. Horner then crossed home plate herself when Nikki White reached on a Pirates' fielding error. Jackie Wear followed with the game's biggest hit, drilling a 1-2 pitch for an inside-the-park two-run homer.
"It was intense," Wear said. "I was trying to anticipate what pitch was coming next whether it was going to be a change-up or an inside fast ball. She threw a lot inside. But, once I got that hit to the outfield, I felt pretty good.
"It was an awesome feeling to come through for my teammates."
Papp and her defense then got the job done in the seventh to secure the victory. She was able to do so by retiring the side in order. In fact, Papp retired the final eight batters she faced after the Pirates scored in the fifth.
Palisades 020 010 0 - 3 5 2
N'western 000 004 x - 4 2 2
Morrone and Sadow; Papp and Wear. W - Papp. L - Morrone. HR: NW - Wear (6th, one on).