BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Boilermaker offense exploded for seven runs, including two home runs, as the Purdue softball team downed Indiana 7-2 in Game 1 of the weekend's three game series.
Senior Erika Petruzzi provided the bulk of the Purdue offense with two swings of the bat, a solo home run and a grand slam, tying her for the Purdue record for home runs in a game. The record of two homers has now been achieved 21 times, including three times by Petruzzi, who also launched two long balls vs. North Dakota State on Feb. 14, 2010, and against Indiana on April 7, 2012.
The Boilermakers racked up their seven runs on eight hits and an error, including two hit efforts by Petruzzi, junior Andie Varsho and senior Maia Monchek. Indiana scored its two runs on nine hits and an error. Sophomore Ashley Burkhardt also had a hit in the game, extending her season-best hit streak to 16 games.
Sophomore Lexy Moore (7-9) struck out two batters in four and two thirds innings of work en route to the win, while freshman Lilly Fecho allowed just three hits in two and a third innings of relief work. Starter Meagan Murphy (12-12) was saddled with the loss for Indiana allowing five runs in two and a third innings before giving way to Brooke Boetjer.
Varsho lifted a double into right field with two outs in the first inning for the first hit of the game, but the Boilers couldn't bring her home.
After forcing Indiana to strand two runners in the bottom of the first, Purdue jumped on the scoreboard as Petruzzi launched a leadoff home run over the center field wall. Monchek also had a hit in the second inning, but the Boilermakers were unable to add to the 1-0 lead.
With bases loaded after a pair of hits and a walk in the third, Petruzzi deposited a full count pitch over the center field wall for a grand slam. The long ball plated Burkhardt and Varsho who each had a single and a steal in the inning, as well as junior Danielle Fletcher, who had fought off a 10-pitch at-bat for a walk to fill the bases.
Purdue tacked on two more runs on a hit and an error in the fourth. Freshman Paris Andrew drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a throwing error that put senior Ashley Courtney aboard. A wild pitch allowed Andrew to score. Courtney went to second on the pitching miscue and third on a ground out, before scoring on a two-out single by Varsho to make it 7-0.
Indiana got one run back in the fourth, combining two hits and a sacrifice fly. A leadoff double and a single gave the Hoosiers runners at the corners, setting up the sacrifice fly.
The Hoosiers managed a run on two hits in the fifth to cut the margin to 7-2. A walk, a single and a double play put a runner at second with two outs for Kassi Farmer, who doubled to center field to pick up an RBI.
The Boilermakers stranded two runners in the sixth after getting a leadoff single from Monchek and a one-out walk that put Courtney on base. The Hoosiers tried to turn a double play after a ground out, but Courtney was called safe at second after a collision, which allowed pinch runner Sydney Pencek to come home, but the score was nullified as a dead ball had been called, leaving runners at second and third. A pop up ended the inning.
Indiana returned the favor, stranding runners at the corner after a pair of hits in the sixth.
Petruzzi drew a two-out walk in the seventh, but the Boilermakers could not add to their lead.
The Hoosiers kept hope alive with a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh, but Fecho force a ground out and a strikeout to end the game.
The Boilermakers (17-22, 4-6 Big Ten) will face off with the Hoosiers again at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday to wrap up the series.