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Spring Sports: Weekend Wrap, May 9

 

It was a mixed weekend for NU spring sports. We’ve already discussed the lacrosse team’s conference championship and NCAA tournament seeding, but three other sports — women's golf, softball and baseball — were in action, delivering less than stellar results. (Men's golf and women's tennis had the week off, but begin NCAA tournament play this coming weekend.)

Here’s the rundown, after the jump:

Women’s golf: After two rounds at the NCAA regionals on Friday, the Wildcats appeared to be in strong position to advance to the championships, sitting in sixth place. But their third round score of 18-over 306 wasn’t good enough to keep pace, and NU finished regionals in 10th place, two spots and just five strokes out from advancing. Despite the disappointing ending, this was NU’s best finish at NCAA regionals since 2006. The Wildcats also took second place at the BigTen championships.

Senior Alex Lederhausen was NU’s top performer at regionals, with a three round score of +9, while freshman Devon Brown was +11. First-team All-BigTen Lauren Weaver struggled in the second round and finished the tournament +16.

 

Softball: The Wildcats’ NCAA tournament hopes remained alive with a split against Indiana, which had been tied for first place in the conference. NU (23-18, 5-11) had an RPI of 50 coming into last week, and while Sunday’s win against Indiana will help, the Wildcats also dropped three games, including two to Minnesota on Wednesday. The NCAA tournament has 64 berths, including 33 at-large berths, so NU very much remains on fringe of the bubble.

On Saturday, NU couldn’t get any offense going in a 1-0 loss. Pitcher Jessica Smith took the hard-luck L. Then on Sunday, freshman second baseman Marisa Bast blew open a tight pitchers duel with a fifth-inning grand slam, for a 4-1 Wildcat win. Smith pitched another great game and took the win this time, boosting her record to 8-10. First baseman Adrienne Monka continued her stat-ridiculous season with five walks in six plate appearances over the weekend and now sports an on-base percentage of .724.

Next up for the Wildcats is a pair of games this weekend at Penn State to close out the regular season.

 

Baseball: NU lost two out of three to Indiana, slipping into a tie for eighth place, but still just one game out of sixth place, the cut-off for qualifying for the BigTen tournament. NU (15-27, 5-11) was blanked, 5-0, in Friday’s series opener, then won 9-6 on Saturday, before losing the rubber match, 8-2. Third baseman Chris Lashmet hit two homers on Saturday, and Michael Jahns had a quality start on Sunday, giving up two earned runs in six innings with six strikeouts. On the whole, though, the team’s performance was rather un-noteworthy.

Up next for the Wildcats is a non-conference game against UIC tomorrow, followed by another non-conference game Wednesday against the University of Chicago. NU then hosts Michigan for a three-game set beginning Friday, the second to last series of the regular season.