After going up 8-4 through four innings, the Panthers put two more on the board in the sixth on a two-run blast to dead center by Abby Renken for the game’s final runs.
“It seemed like with Erika, we were hitting things, and Lexy, we were putting the ball in play, but hitting right to people, popping things up,” NW coach Jordan Dyer said.
Freshman Lauryn Wyrick took the loss, pitching all seven innings for Northwestern, which elected not to throw primary pitcher Crystal Metz in the non-league game.
“We knew coming in it was probably going to be a battle of the bats,” Dyer said. “They’ve been hitting the ball great all year. I told the girls that they’re going to put the ball in play. This is Lauryn Wyrick’s first varsity start, first varsity pitching of any kind. I thought she did a great job, but we knew they were going to hit, we just couldn’t make mistakes and I told them we let a couple girls get some extra bases.
“Against a team that has as good of team speed [as Western has] you’ve got to keep the ball in the dirt and can’t let it get to the grass or they’re going to get extra bases.”
Brooke Strunk had two singles and scored both times for Western, Haley Conaway had two hits, and Wiechmann and Renken each knocked in three runs.
For NW, Macey Jordan had a two-run double in the third, two batters after Bailey Thatcher plated two runs with a single. Kelsey Richards had a double and a single for the Tigers, and Kaitlyn Kennedy reached base all three times she batted. She drew two walks and was hit by a pitch.
Both squads are 5-2.