Columbus, Ohio, is a wonderful city. As well as being the home of "The" Ohio State Buckeyes, TripAdvisor says the city's top attractions include the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Short North Arts District.
Needless to say, the Northwestern softball team will have plenty of fun activities to choose from next Thursday when it awaits the outcome of a battle between two inferior softball teams who will fight for the right to play them in the second round of the conference tournament.
By taking a road series from the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend, the ‘Cats secured a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament and gave themselves some additional rest before postseason play begins on Friday.
Northwestern finished the regular season with a record of 27-20 and with a 14-8 conference record, fourth place in the Big Ten.
Things got started on Friday with a pitcher’s duel as the ‘Cats snuck by Iowa 1-0, thanks in large part to a 4th inning solo shot from Julia Kuhn.
Kuhn’s fifth home run of the season was drilled deep to center, giving Northwestern all the offense it would need in the victory. Kristen Wood pitched seven innings of shutout softball and struck out eight in the victory.
On Saturday, the ‘Cats brought the boom.
Northwestern tallied 15 hits and built an eight-run lead before hanging on to win 11-6. Kuhn kept the good times rolling with three RBI in the victory, while Sammi Gyerman, Allie Wood and Erin Erickson also chipped in two RBI.
The ‘Cats went for the sweep on Sunday but weren’t able to get their third win of the weekend, falling to Iowa 8-6. NU chipped into an 8-2 Iowa lead but it wouldn’t be enough as the Hawkeyes held on for the victory.
With a week off before postseason play kicks off on Friday, the ‘Cats will be able to get some much need R&R before the heading to Columbus for the Big Ten tournament. They will face the winner of Thursday’s Illinois (5th seed) vs. Purdue (12th seed) game.