March 28, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Boilermakers shook off an early six-run deficit and mounted a comeback that fell just short in a 9-7 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday. Purdue had the tying run at the plate in the seventh, but could not pull off a final-inning rally.
Northwestern scored nine runs on nine hits and two Purdue miscues, while the Boilermakers scored seven runs on eight hits and three Wildcat errors. Senior Liane Horiuchi paced the team at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort, two RBI and two runs. Junior Aimee Gingerich posted a pair of hits in the contest and scored two runs.
Lauren Delaney (8-7) struck out nine Boilermakers in six innings of work, while Meghan Lamberth picked up the save. Junior Suzie Rzegocki (8-13) issued four strikeouts in the complete game effort for Purdue.
The Wildcats took advantage of a Boilermaker miscue for a four runs in the first. Emily Allard singled and stole second to start the home half of the inning. Michelle Batts reached on a two-out throwing error by the third baseman, allowing Allard to score from second. Emily Haug followed with a two-run shot to left to make it 3-0. A solo shot by Nicole Pauly gave Northwestern a four-run advantage.
The Boilermakers answered back with a run on a trio of fielder's choice plays and two NU errors in the second. A muffed catch in right field put senior Jenna Alexander on to start the second. A fielding error by the shortstop put freshman Ashley Courtney aboard. Senior Ashley Barr took first base on a fielder's choice play at third. With the bases juiced after senior Liz Allum walked, Gingerich picked up the RBI, hitting a fielder's choice ball to the shortstop. With two on and two out, a strikeout prevented Purdue from capitalizing further.
Northwestern extended its lead to 6-1 with two runs on three hits and an error. Robin Thompson tapped the first of three singles and stole second and third, before scoring on Allard's single to short. Allard stole second and went to third on a Kristin Scharkey single. A Boilermaker miscue on a stolen base attempt allowed Allard to score.
Purdue snapped the no-hit bid with a run on two hits in the third. A leadoff bunt single and stolen base put Horiuchi on second for sophomore Molly Garst, who delivered on the RBI chance with a single through the left side. Garst quickly moved to third with a steal and a wild pitch, but a trio of Ks left her stranded.
The Wildcats made it 8-2 with a pair of runs in the third. A Pauly double off the wall plated a run from first. Pauly went to third on the throw home and scored on a grounder to second the following play.
With runners at first and third and two outs in the fourth, Horiuchi stepped to the plate and lifted a mile-high triple into the whipping wind in right field, plating both Allum and Gingerich who had singled. Garst walked and stole second to give Purdue two in scoring position, but a strikeout capped the inning with both aboard.
Purdue sliced into the deficit with three runs on three hits in the sixth. The Boilermakers filled the basepaths with one out on a Gingerich single, a walk to pinch hitter Katie Hackney, and a mile high single to right by Horiuchi. A grounder to the pitcher allowed Gingerich to scamper home. Freshman Maia Monchek lasered a single to left, bringing Hackney and Horiuchi in to score, before advancing to second on the play. Alexander lifted a deep ball to the warning track against a driving wind, but the Wildcat center fielder reeled it in to foil the continuation of the Purdue rally.
Northwestern pushed its advantage to two runs with a run on a hit in the bottom of the sixth. Allard walked and stole second, before crossing the plate as Adrienne Monka laced a single up the left field line.
Courtney drew a walk to start the seventh inning, prompting a Wildcat pitching change. Meghan Lamberth took over in the circle and issued two strikeouts and a ground out to preserve the NU win.
The Boilermakers (12-18, 0-2 Big Ten) return to action on Wednesday, when they play host to IUPUI in a 3 p.m. doubleheader. The twin bill kicks off an eight-game homestand for Purdue.