Williams went 2-0 with a save on the weekend and posted a 0.64 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) while striking out 14 batters as Northwestern swept Rutgers in its first conference series of the season at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. She also turned in an impressive weekend at the plate, going 2-for-6 with three runs scored while also hitting her first-career home run in the final game of the series.
The Pleasanton, Calif. native began the weekend by tossing her sixth shutout of the season while striking out four and allowing just two hits in an 8-0 run-rule victory over the Scarlet Knights.
On Saturday, she entered to pitch in game two of the series in the top of the seventh inning and retired the Scarlet Knights in order, striking out two to help pick up her first-career save in 5-3 win.
Later that day, Williams allowed just one hit to lead off the game but then retired 15 of the final 16 batters she faced to pick up her 13th complete game and 15th win of the season, notching eight strikeouts while allowing just one run as the Wildcats rolled to a 9-1 run-rule victory. In the bottom of the third inning, she also hit a solo homer to right field, the first of her career.
Williams is now 15-3 on the season, the second-most wins in the Big Ten and the most among all first years in the nation. Her 1.17 ERA (17 ER/101.1 IP) leads all qualified pitchers in the conference, while her 127 strikeouts rank third in the Big Ten and fourth among all first-years in the country. This is the third time Williams has won Freshman of the Week Honors through seven weeks of action this season.
Northwestern is 22-6 on the season and has won five-straight games following its weekend sweep over Rutgers. The Wildcats will be back action on Wednesday, March 27 when they play host to DePaul at 4 p.m. CT before resuming conference play at Iowa for a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 29.
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