ORLANDO, Fla. -
Purdue (2-11) had No. 23 Kentucky on the ropes all the way until the final out of the game, ultimately falling to the Wildcats 5-3 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The one-two punch of Mallory Baker and Stephanie Ramsey went 4-for-8 with a run scored in the contest.
The Boilermakers found itself trailing by two in the final inning but managed to threaten Kentucky's lead as Baker dropped a single into left and advanced to third on a ground-rule double by Ramsey with just one out in the inning. Alexa Binckes was the ensuing batter and roped a line drive up the middle that was snared in self-defense by Kentucky's Grace Baalman. If the ball had gotten through, Purdue would have tied the game and had a runner on first with two outs to work with.
Purdue actually struck first in the contest as a leadoff walk by Madison Douglass led off the third with a walk that resulted in a run scored by Douglass' pinch runner Siena Wagner. Kentucky responded in the bottom of the inning with four runs in large part to defensive miscues by the Boilermakers.
Kentucky enjoyed a three-run advantage until Purdue pulled within a run in the fifth on a two-out double by Jenny Behan that scored Halle Hixenbaugh and Baker. The Wildcats earned their fifth run on a solo shot in the sixth inning.
Baker and Ramsey finished with two hits each while Hixenbaugh and Behan both picked up hits of their own. Kaitlynn Moody threw 3.2 innings of relief, allowing just two hits and a run on the home run.
Purdue is back in action Friday, Mar. 2, when it takes on Florida Atlantic in its first game of the LSU Tiger Classic.