March 30, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Boilermakers softball team overcame a late-inning rally by Ohio State, pulling off an 8-7 nine-inning victory on Saturday to win the weekend series. Purdue led the game6-1 after five innings, but the Buckeyes came back to take a 7-6 lead in the seventh. The Boilermakers knotted it up in the bottom of the seventh before scoring the game-winner in the ninth.
Five Boilermakers posted two-hit days as the team racked up its eight runs on 14 hits and two Buckeye errors. Ohio State scored its seven runs on 10 hits and one Purdue miscue. Seniors Ashley Courtney and Erika Petruzzi and juniors Andie Varsho, Danielle Fletcher and Tori Chiodo managed the multi-hit efforts.
Sophomore Lexy Moore (5-7) struck out three in nine innings of work, while reliever Kasie Kelly (3-2) was saddled with the loss for OSU, pitching the final four and a third innings. Freshman Lilly Fecho made a brief appearance in the seventh inning for Purdue. Kelly was third Buckeye pitcher in the game.
Tied 7-7 after the Buckeye comeback, the Boilers loaded the bases in the ninth on a single by Chiodo, a botched fielder's choice play that put sophomore Ashley Burkhardt aboard and a walk to Varsho. Fletcher picked up the game-winning RBI single with a single up the middle, clinching Purdue the win and the series victory.
Purdue got on the board in the second inning as Chiodo laced a bases loaded double into left field. A fielding error put senior Maia Monchek aboard to start the inning. A walk to freshman Mary Gooding and a single by freshman Paris Andrew filled the basepaths. A play at the plate and a ground out kept the score at 1-0.
Ohio State tied it up with a run on two hits in the third. Two singles and a sacrifice accounted for the score.
The Boilermakers went ahead again in the bottom of the third, but stranded three runners at inning's end. Walks put junior Lindsey Rains and Fletcher on and Monchek singled to loaded the bases with nobody out prompting the first OSU pitching change. Courtney singled off new pitcher Alex DiDomenico to put Purdue up 2-1. An illegal pitch gave the Boilermakers runners at second and third, when a walk to Gooding filled the basepaths once again. A strikeout left the bases full.
Purdue broke the game open with four runs on three hits in the fifth. Varsho led off the inning with a walk and went to third on a single to right by Fletcher. Pinch runner Sydney Pencek kicked off a double steal for the Boilers and Varsho finished in by sliding under the tag at the plate. Monchek walked and Courtney singled to fill the bases for Petruzzi, who came in to pinch hit. The senior laced a double in center field to bring in two runs and prompt another OSU pitching switch. Freshman Paris Andrew picked up an RBI as Courtney beat out a fielder's choice throw home. Two more fielder's choice plays at the plate and a ground out prevented Purdue from adding to the 6-1 margin.
OSU got one run back in the sixth capitalizing on Purdue miscues. An error put a runner on and two wild pitches moved her to third, from which she scored on a two-out single.
Junior Lauren Grant had a two-out single in the sixth, but the Boilers couldn't bring her home.
The Buckeyes turned the game around, plating five runs on five hits in the seventh, to go ahead 7-6. A pair of doubles and a hit batsman loaded the bases with one out. A fielder's choice play at the plate put Purdue one out away from the win, but OSU was not done yet. Caitlin Conrad sent a 3-0 pitch into right center scoring two runs. Fecho took over in the circle, but could not stop the bleeding as a double down the left field line and a single up the middle brought in three more and put OSU on top 7-6. Moore reentered the game and forced a ground out to bring the Boilers to the plate.
Burkhardt kept the game going for the Boilermakers with a two-out double to left in the seventh. Rains was hit by pitch and then Varsho poked a single into center field to tie the game. A fly ball to right sent the game to extra innings.
Both teams stranded a base runner in the eighth, then OSU went down in order in the ninth to set up Fletcher's ninth-inning heroics. The Boilermakers (13-18, 2-3 Big Ten) return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday to finish the series with the Buckeyes.