PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Duke Blue Devils (5-7) wrapped up day one at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Friday, dropping a pair of tight contests to California (7-5) and Northwestern (9-2) at the Big League Dreams Complex.
Duke fell in a 1-0 decision in the day’s first game against Cal before dropping a 6-5 decision in extra innings to Northwestern. The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday with another pair of contests, taking on Army (6 p.m. ET) and Ohio State (8:30 p.m. ET).
California 1, Duke 0
An RBI double in the fourth was all that California needed Friday night, as they held off several Blue Devil rally attempts to capture a 1-0 victory in Duke’s first game at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
A single and a fielder’s choice set up the double to center that gave the Golden Bears the lead in the top half of the fourth. Duke nearly evened things up a half inning later with a one-out triple from Jameson Kavel, but a pair of strikeouts closed out the threat.
The Blue Devils put a runner on third in the seventh thanks to an error and a wild pitch, but again fell victim to a strikeout to close the game and give Cal the win.
Cal was able to hold Duke to two hits in the contest, as Raine Wilson picked up a double to go along with Kavel’s triple. Shelby Walters (1-3) threw her third complete game of the season, tying her career high with seven strikeouts and only issuing one walk on the day.
Northwestern 6, Duke 5 (8)
For the first time this season the Blue Devils went into extra innings, dropping a 6-5 contest to the Northwestern Wildcats in eight innings.
The game got off to a hot start, with Wilson sending a solo shot to left for her first home run of the season to put the Blue Devils ahead 1-0. However, the Wildcats responded back quickly with three runs of their own, pushing them across with a single and a double.
Duke leveled the game in the third thanks to a wild pitch that brought home Kavel and an RBI single to left from Kristina Foreman, her seventh of the season. That lead would stand until the fifth, when Northwestern scored two off a single and a fielding error to make it 5-3.
Jazmine Moreno pushed home two more runs in the next half inning to tie the game up at 5-5, driving home Marissa Gagliano and Kyla Morris thanks to a Northwestern fielding error. The Blue Devils would use the dominant pitching of Peyton St. George to force the contest into extra innings, highlighted by a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.
With international tie breaker rules in effect, Northwestern was able to hold off Duke in the top half of the frame and walk the game off with a single down the left field line, securing a 6-5 victory.
Duke tallied six hits on the day to Northwestern’s eight, highlighted by Wilson’s home run. Amelia Wiercioch got the start for the Blue Devils, going 2.0 innings. Brianna Butler came in for 3.0 innings of relief, striking out two. St. George (1-1) closed out the contest, picking up a pair of strikeouts and allowing just one hit.
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