Wednesday was a great day for Chicago's Big Ten baseball and softball teams, as the Northwestern Wildcats asserted their dominance over Chicagoland rivals Chicago State and Depaul, 5-4 in 10 innings and 12-1 in five innings, respectively.
At Rocky Miller Park, the Wildcat baseball team (14-29, 4-11 B1G) prevailed in an extra inning thriller over their feline friends, the CSU Cougars (11-32-1, 4-12-1 WAC). After answering CSU's 1-0 start with a four-run third inning, the 'Cats failed to score again until their final at bat. The Cougars chipped away and eventually tied things at four in the top of the eight, but they ran into the brick wall that was junior Jake Stolley. He allowed no runs and just one hit over 2 and 1/3 innings of relief, giving his team a chance to walk off in the bottom of the tenth. Junior pinch hitter Zach Jones obliged, lining a walk off single into left that chased home a leadoff double to give NU a wild 5-4 victory.
There was considerably less stress for NU softball (25-19, 12-7 B1G) in its 12-1 mercy rule win over the DePaul Blue Demons (20-22, 11-3 Big East) in its final home game of the year. The 'Cats let the Blue Demons hang around until the bottom of the third, when they unleashed the two-out rally of all two-out rallies. NU scored nine runs with just one out to work with, and finished off the rally with a three run home run by junior infielder Brianna LeBeau. Senior rightfielder Andrea DiPrima joined LeBeau in the home run department and junior pitcher Kristen Wood (14-8) pulled off a complete game two-hitter to blast the Blue Demons back to Fullerton on the Purple Express.
The baseball team welcomes the Nebraska Cornhuskers to town this weekend while the softball team will close out its regular season on the road at Iowa before embarking on the B1G Tournament, which starts late next week in Columbus, Ohio.