March 19, 2010
FULLERTON, Calif. - Junior Suzie Rzegocki struck out eight batters and did not allow an earned run, but the Boilermaker softball team fell to Utah 4-2 Thursday night. A four-run third inning proved costly for Purdue, which had its offensive opportunities but could not convert.
Utah scored four runs on four hits and an error, while the Boilermakers managed two runs on six hits and an error. Freshman Ashley Courtney and junior Aimee Gingerich accounted for two hits apiece.
Brittany Parker (1-3) picked up the complete-game win for Utah, while Rzegocki was saddled with the loss after five innings of work. Freshman Erika Petruzzi tossed the sixth inning for the Boilermakers.
Senior Liane Horiuchi drew a walk to start the game, stole second and went to third on a ground ball, but was unable to score as the next batter lined into a double play to end the inning.
A fielding error put senior Jenna Alexander on base to start the second, but she was later caught stealing. Freshman Ashley Courtney gave Purdue another base runner with a one-out single to left, but was out on a fielder's choice play soon after. A fly ball left a runner stranded.
Junior Aimee Gingerich, who earned her first career start in right field, led off the third with a double up the left field line. She was caught stealing for the inning's first out, before freshman Kristen Allen was walked. Allen was sacrificed over to second, but a grounder to the pitcher kept Purdue from capitalizing.
After sitting down the first eight batters in order, including six strikeouts, Rzegocki allowed a walk. The free pass would not have been a costly one were it not for the fielding error that put the next batter aboard, pushing the lead runner to third, instead of ending the inning. The miscue opened the floodgates temporarily as a double plated a run. With runners at second and third, a wild pitch brought in another. A Whitney Holm two-run home run completed the scoring, before a grounder to the shortstop finally ended the stanza.
Rookie Maia Monchek cut the deficit in half with a two-run home run in the fourth. The long ball scored Courtney, who sent a two-out double through the left side the previous play.
A heads up defensive double play nullified a Ute double in the fourth. After the leadoff double, shortstop Liane Horiuchi scooped up the grounder and tossed over to first base just in time to get the out, then first baseman Kristen Allen turned and fired over to third, where the lead runner was attempting to advance. A swinging strikeout, Rzegocki's seventh, capped the inning.
Gingerich kicked off the fifth with an infield single. A pair of fielder's choice plays at second base followed, putting Horiuchi on first with two outs. Sophomore Molly Garst kept the inning going with a single to second base. The duo then pulled off a double steal to move into scoring position, but a ground ball to third base prevented the Boilermakers from bringing them home.
Rzegocki sat the Utes down in order in the bottom of the inning, which included her eighth K of the game. Freshman Erika Petruzzi took over in the circle to start the sixth inning for Purdue.
The Boilermakers couldn't manage a hit in the final two stanzas.
Purdue (10-13) looks to get back on track against No. 24 Louisville at 11:15 p.m. ET Friday.