April 1, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker softball team closed out a three-game sweep of Penn State with a 5-0 win on Sunday, propelling Purdue its seventh straight win and the top spot in the Big Ten at 6-0 after two weekends of conference play.
The Boilermakers put up five runs on eight hits and two errors, while allowing Penn State just two hits in the contest. Freshman Lexy Moore (15-2) sat down the last 14 Nittany Lions in order to close out her 15th victory of the season. Lisa Akamine (5-14) was saddled with the loss for PSU despite striking out seven Purdue batters.
Purdue scored two runs in the first inning, two in the fifth and one in the sixth en route to the shutout victory. Seven Boilermakers posted hits in the contest, led by sophomore Andie Varsho's pair of hits, which included a triple.
Penn State had the first hit of the game as Cassidy Bell sent a leadoff single up the middle, but the Nittany Lions failed to bring her home after sacrificing her over to second base.
The Boilermakers combined, a hit, an error and a walk for two runs in the first. Senior Molly Garst led off with a single to left and stole second. Varsho filled the spot at first with a walk. Sophomore Lindsey Rains filled the bases on a missed fielder's choice play. A fielding error by the second baseman put sophomore Danielle Fletcher aboard and drove in the first run. Sophomore Kristin Morgan then drew a two-out walk to plate Varsho from third. A ground ball to the shortstop left the bases full at inning's end.
Purdue threatened in the second, loading the bases on two hits and a walk, but could not add to its lead. Varsho singled to left. Rains followed with a bunt, which allowed the speedy Varsho to go to third. Rains then swiped second, opening first base for Fletcher, who walked. A strikeout kept the Boilermakers from capitalizing on the bases loaded opportunity.
Bell hit a one-out triple into the left center gap to give PSU its best scoring chance, but a line out to first base and a strikeout nullified the hit.
After stranding a runner in the third and fourth innings, the Boilermakers broke through with two more runs on three hits and an error in the fifth. Junior Ashley Courtney led off with a double to left center. Junior Erika Petruzzi followed with a single to left, pushing Courtney to third. Petruzzi then stole second and Courtney scurried home on the play as the catcher's throw sailed into centerfield. A ground out advanced Petruzzi to third, from which she scored as sophomore Tori Chiodo laced a single through the left side. A fielder's choice play ended the rally.
The Boilermakers tacked on one final insurance run in the sixth, making good on Varsho's leadoff triple. A ground ball to first base the following play supplied all that Varsho needed to make it home and give Purdue a 5-0 advantage. Fletcher drew her second walk of the game. Pinch runner Gabi Brown stole second and went to third on a ground ball to third base, but another grounder capped the inning.
Penn State went down in order on a ground out and two fly outs to seal the Purdue win.
The Boilermakers (22-9, 6-0 Big Ten) take a break from conference action with a pair of midweek games against IUPUI (Tuesday) and Notre Dame (Thursday) before hitting the road to face instate foe Indiana on Saturday and Sunday.