Feb. 16, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Boilermaker bats rapped out eight runs on nine hits and four errors in an 8-5 win over Drake to wrap up Day 1 of the Hillenbrand Invitational.
Sophomore Alex Whittemore struck out two in three and two thirds innings of relief work en route to the win, while freshman Lilly Fecho issued four Ks in an inning and two thirds in the saving effort. Sophomore Lexy Moore also saw action, throwing the first inning and two thirds. Jordan Gronewold (3-1) was saddled with the loss for Drake after pitching just over an inning.
The Boilermakers scored their eight runs on nine hits and four errors, while allowing Drake five runs on nine hits and two errors. Sophomore Ashley Burkhardt and senior Ashley Courtney each posted two-hit efforts for Purdue.
The Boilermakers jumped on the scoreboard early, putting up three runs on three hits and an error in the opening stanza. Junior Lindsey Rains led off with a single up the middle. Sophomore Ashley Burkhardt followed with a bunt single. A sacrifice moved the pair into scoring position. Freshman Paris Andrew was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. A fielding error by the shortstop plated one run, then senior Ashley Courtney took advantage of the bases-loaded opportunity and drove in two more with a sharp single to right field.
Drake answered with a pair of runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning. A one-out walk gave the Bulldogs their first baserunner and a two-out double by Nicole Randel put the team on the board. A single to left center brought Randel home. A walk and another single filled the bases, but Moore forced a grounder to first base to end the inning.
Purdue tacked on three more runs, including one unearned score, on a hit and an error in the second to go up 6-2. Freshman CJ Parsons singled to start the inning. Freshman Mary Gooding reached on a fielder's choice play, pushing Parsons to second, then Rains was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. A pair of ground outs to second base pushed Parsons and Gooding across the plate. A fielding error by the shortstop brought Rains home.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to 6-4 with a two-run home run by Hayley Nybo in the bottom of the second. The two-out long ball scored a runner who had drawn a walk earlier in the inning. Whittemore entered the game to pitch with a runner on first and forced a grounder to end the stanza.
Both teams put runners on base in the third, but neither could score.
The Boilermakers added a run on two hits and an error in the fourth. A fielding error by the shortstop put Rains aboard to start the inning. She then stole second and in a bit of crafty baserunning mixed with good fortune, wound up scoring on an unconventional play. Junior Andie Varsho singled to the pitcher, who fielded the ball and went to throw to first but found no player was covering the base. Rains meanwhile turned for home and Drake got into a rundown with her, but to no avail as she dove in safely at home for the score. Junior Danielle Fletcher followed with a single and wound up at second base as the Bulldogs got Varsho at the plate trying to score on the hit. A ground out stranded Fletcher at second.
The Boilermakers had two runners in scoring position with no one out in the fifth, but came up empty. Senior Maia Monchek was hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Sydney Pencek stole second and went to third on Courtney's single to left. Courtney stole second to set up another RBI opportunity, but a strikeout, a fly out and a tag at the plate ended the threat.
After some nifty defensive play in the fifth including a double play turned by Burkhardt and a sliding snag in foul territory by Fletcher, the Boilermaker offense added another insurance run in the sixth. Burkhardt singled, went to second on a ground out, stole third and came home as the catcher's throw to third sailed.
Drake got the run back in the sixth, combining a pair of doubles for a score. Fecho took over in the circle with runners at second and third and one out. She promptly struck out a batter and forced a foul out to escape the inning unscathed.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh. Lilly struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to close out the Boilermaker win and pick up the save.
Purdue (4-3) returns to action at 8 p.m. ET Saturday when the team faces off with No. 16 Arizona followed by a 10 p.m. ET meeting with Southern Utah.