Feb. 17, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Boilermaker softball team battled the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the wire on Sunday afternoon to close out the Hillenbrand Invitational, but came up just short in a 4-3 decision. Purdue had bases loaded with one out in the seventh, but could not push the game-tying run across.
The Boilermakers scored three runs on eight hits and four NU errors, while allowing the Huskers four runs on five hits and an error. Junior Andie Varsho and freshmen CJ Parsons and Mary Gooding tallied two hits apiece to lead the Purdue bats.
Tatum Edwards (6-1) picked up the win in a relief effort for Nebraska, while sophomore Lexy Moore was charged with the loss after allowing two Huskers runs in an inning and two thirds of relief work for Purdue. Freshman Lilly Fecho struck out three in the starting three and a third innings, while sophomore Alex Whittemore tossed the final inning for the Boilermakers.
The Boilers got on the board in the second inning as junior Danielle Fletcher launched the first pitch of the stanza over the left field wall for career home run No. 14. Freshman Paris Andrew reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, advanced to second on another error on a fielder's choice play which put senior Maia Monchek aboard. The pair pulled off a double steal, moving to second and third. A grounder by senior Ashley Courtney drove in Andrew, then a single to left center by freshman CJ Parsons pushed Monchek in to make it 3-0. A double play ended the rally.
Nebraska got its first hit with a one-out double in the third, but Fecho struck out the next two batters to escape unscathed.
The Huskers put up two runs in the fourth courtesy of a Brooke Thomason two-run shot to left. The long ball scored Taylor Edwards, who had singled and went to second on an illegal pitch, and prompted Purdue to bring in sophomore Lexy Moore to pitch. Moore promptly issued two strikeouts to get out of the inning.
The Boilermakers managed three hits and a walk in the fifth, but could not score. Courtney led off the fifth with a single to left center. Pinch runner Gabi Brown went to second on a Parsons single through the left side. Brown was picked off at second. Gooding then singled to second base pushing pinch runner Sydney Pencek to second. Pencek went to third as the throw to first sailed wide, but was out at the plate trying to score.
Nebraska knotted the score at 3-3, capitalizing on a Boilermaker miscue in the bottom of the fifth. A throwing error gave the Huskers a leadoff base runner. The team sacrificed her over to second, from which she scored on a single to left. The Huskers got two more base runners on a walk and fielder's choice, but a grounder to the shortstop prevented further damage.
Purdue threatened in the sixth as Varsho singled and went to third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice. Ground balls to the pitch and to first base left her stranded.
A sacrifice fly in the sixth put the Huskers up 4-3. A leadoff walk and a double to center field put runners at second and third, setting up the score on the fly out to left.
The Boilermakers filled the bases in the seventh on a throwing error, a single and a hit batsman, but could not get a run in. Courtney reached and went to second on a throwing error by the third baseman that sailed into the Purdue dugout. Gooding legged out a one-out single to the shortstop to push Courtney to third. Rains was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A fielder's choice play at the plate and a ground ball to the pitcher ended the Boilermaker rally and the game.
Purdue (5-5) returns to action on Feb. 22 when the team travels to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Invitational.