April 9, 2005
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Boilermaker softball team ended a five-year drought against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, registering a 2-1 victory. The win is Purdue's first against Iowa since the 2000 season and first in Iowa City since 1998.
"What a great team win," head coach Carol Bruggeman said. "I thought today's game was a mirror image of yesterday's, just two good teams going at it. Our pitching and defense were key today and very solid. We knew going into the game that it was going to be a team pitching effort. We had two huge RBI by DaQueta Johnson and Erika Peterson on offense. Iowa is a solid team and this make us feel good about heading into our game with Illinois tomorrow."
As the designated visiting team, Iowa put up one run on two hits in the opening stanza. Stacy May singled to the pitcher, then Kylie Murray hit a two-out double off the wall in right center to drive in the run. A caught foul ball left Murray stranded.
Senior Shelli Messer (Greenfield, Ind.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning. She moved to second on a ground ball, before a strikeout ending the inning.
Messer returned to the base paths in the third inning with a two-out single to right center. A ground ball, however, left her stranded.
Freshman Melissa Burns (Miami, Fla.) entered the game on the mound to start the fourth inning. Emily Nichols singled to right to kick off the stanza, then moved to third on a sacrifice by Murray and a ground out. Burns struck out the next batter looking to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Boilermakers tied the game with a single run in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Tricia Lilley (North Canton, Ohio) reached on an error by the right fielder and moved to second on the play. Sophomore DaQueta Johnson (Ontario, Calif.) scored her with a double off the center field wall. Junior Becky Stone (Belleville, Ill.) joined pinch runner Jamie Dum (Indianapolis, Ind.) on base when she was hit by a pitch with two outs. A fielder's choice put Dum out at third to stop the Purdue rally.
The Hawkeyes threatened in the sixth, but Purdue's stalwart defense kept them off the scoreboard. Summer Downs hit a sharp single to third, then moved to second on a ground ball. Nichols walked to put two on for Murray. Murray singled to right, then right fielder DaQueta Johnson lasered a throw home to catch Downs who tried to score. Nichols moved to third on the play and Murray wound up at second. Third baseman Shelli Messer then fielded a sharp hit ball to end the inning.
Purdue loaded the bases with no one out in the sixth. Senior Andrea Hillsey (White Lake, Mich.) reached on a fielding error by the right fielder, then moved to second as Lilley laid down a sacrifice bunt and was safe at first on the fielder's late throw to second. Johnson loaded the bases as she reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. Sophomore Erika Peterson (Irvine, Calif.) gave Purdue the lead with a single up the left field line, which scored Hillsey from third. The run prompted a Hawkeye pitching change, as Lisa Birocci replaced Ali Arnold on the mound. The change worked as Birocci dealt the Boilermakers two strikeouts and a pop up to escape further damage.
Burns retired the first two batters in the seventh inning, but the Hawkeyes still had hope as Mindy Heidgerken singled up the middle. The Boilermakers sealed the victory when Jenna Spratt grounded out to the pitcher.
The Boilermakers scored two unearned runs on three hits. Messer, Johnson and Peterson accounted for Purdue's hits, while the latter two posted RBI in the contest. Iowa managed one run on six hits, while committing three errors.
Freshman Melissa Burns (6-2) picked up the win after striking out three in four innings of relief work. Arnold was charged with the loss for the Hawkeyes after tossing five innings.
The Boilermakers return to the field at noon on Sunday when they face the Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign, Ill. Purdue (26-13, 3-1 Big Ten) has started Big Ten play 3-1 for the third time in school history and the first time since the 2003 season.