A 3-2 loss to the University of Alabama ended a great season for the Northwestern Wildcats softball team. Although it was disappointing not to see the team advance beyond the Super Regionals, the Cats gave fans a lot of excitement all season.
The Wildcats finished 42-13, including 20-3 in Big Ten play and a perfect 14-0 home record. They were the Big Ten Conference champs and also won the Big Ten tourney.
Leading the way was pitcher Danielle Williams, who went 23-3 in her fifth season on the mound. She had 11 complete games, pitching 164 innings and racking up 196 strikeouts. In her career, Danielle is 106-30.
With the Covid exemptions, I don't know what her status is. If her NU career is done, it was an amazing career. If she returns, the Purple Army will be very happy and very relieved.
In addition to being a standout player, Danielle is a fine young lady. She is a team leader on and off the field. She is always good with the press and fans, too.
It's unfortunate NU did not advance at least to the final eight. I really thought they were that good. The other teams are great, too, though. Only one can win. In that three game series, Alabama was just a bit better. That was just enough to eliminate NU.
I applaud Alabama for winning, but I also applaud NU for an outstanding season. On the surface, it was a disappointment, but with a broader view, this was still a successful season.
I look forward to today's Fall Ball to preview the 2024 team. Wherever Danielle is next season, on or off the field, I wish her a lot of luck and I thank her for a great career.
Danielle Williams and me in Evanston, IL-May 2023.