WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermakers kicked off a busy week with a doubleheader split against Big Ten foe Illinois on Wednesday. The Fighting Illini took Game 1 9-3, but Purdue responded with an 11-6 come-from-behind victory in Game 2 to even the series.
Senior Suzie Rzegocki threw complete games in both halves of the doubleheader, adding another record to her tally in the process. With the two full games, she moved ahead of Brooke Baker (2004-07) on the career list for complete games with numbers 95 and 96. Baker threw 95 complete games as a Boilermaker.
Game 2 featured a six-run rally in the sixth inning to push Purdue over the top. Freshman Lindsey Rains battled through an epic at-bat to drive in the game winner, while sophomore Erika Petruzzi put the game away with a grand slam.
Purdue (25-11-1, 3-3 Big Ten) returns to action at 5 p.m. ET Thursday when they take on Loyola in Chicago.
Game 1: Illinois 9, Purdue 3
What started as a pitchers' dual broke open in the fourth inning as both teams poured on the runs and hits.
Purdue scored its three runs on six hits and two errors, while Illinois managed its nine scores on 10 hits and two Boilermaker miscues. Freshman Lindsey Rains went 2-for-4 to lead the Boilermaker bats.
Pepper Gay (13-9) struck out four in the complete-game victory for Illinois, while senior Suzie Rzegocki (20-10) issued eight Ks in the losing effort for Purdue.
Both teams put a runner on in the first and went down in order in the second. The Illini also stranded a runner in the third after a leadoff single.
The Fighting Illini broke through with three runs on three hits in the fourth. UI combined a pair of doubles for the first score, then tacked on two more with another double following a fielder's choice play later in the inning.
Purdue answered with a run on two hits and an error in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Andie Varsho sent a one-out single up the middle and stole second before scoring as Rains singled down the left field line.
Illinois added two more runs on three hits and an error in the fifth. A pair of one-out singles put two on for Meredith Hackett, who singled to left field to bring both home. A fielding error allowed her to go to third on the play, but a pair of fly balls left her stranded.
The Boilermakers put two on to no avail in the home half of the fifth. Rzegocki tallied a leadoff single and freshman Lauren Grant joined her on base with a one-out single. A fielder's choice play and a pop up left two runners on.
A three-run triple and a sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 9-1 Illini. After double, a fielding error and walk, Danielle Zymkowitz sent the three-bagger into left center. A Hollie Pinchback sac fly brought her home.
Purdue managed two runs on two hits and an error in the sixth, but left three runners on at inning's end. Rains reached on a one-out bunt, then scored on a single down the left field line by sophomore Erika Petruzzi. Petruzzi went to second on the throw home and advanced to third as it sailed over the catcher's head. The Boilermakers loaded the bases as senior Shelby Krammer walked and Rzegocki reached on a fielder's choice. Freshman Kim McMillan was hit by a pitch to bring Petruzzi in to score, but a pair of infield popups prevented Purdue from adding more runs.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh to cap the game.
Game 2: Purdue 11, Illinois 6
The Boilermakers used one of their trademark late-inning rallies to post a come-from-behind win in the night cap of the twin bill. Purdue hung six runs on the Fighting Illini in the sixth, including a grand slam by sophomore Erika Petruzzi, en route to the win.
Purdue scored its 11 runs on 13 hits and one Illini miscue, while Illinois managed six runs on nine hits and three Boilermaker errors. Freshman Kim McMillan went 3-for-4 to lead the Boilermaker bats, while Petruzzi and freshmen Andie Varsho and Lindsey Rains posted two-hit performances.
Senior Suzie Rzegocki (21-10) struck out six in the complete-game victory, which gave her sole possession of the top spot in the career record books. Reliever Laura Tarnawa (0-1) was saddled with the loss for Illinois after giving up two runs in 4.2 innings of work. Jackie Guy and Pepper Gay also saw action for the Illini.
Illinois led 6-5 after two innings and neither team managed another score into the hefty Boilermaker rally in the sixth. Purdue made its comeback with six runs on four hits and an error. Freshman Tori Chiodo got things started with a two-out walk. Junior Molly Garst followed with a ground rule double up the left line, which squirted underneath the fence. The hit prompted an Illini pitching change as Gay entered the game. She allowed Varsho a single to left to tie the score. Rains then battled through a marathon 15-pitch at-bat, finally putting Purdue on top with a single up the middle, driving in Garst. A fielding error by the first baseman loaded the bases and kept the inning going. Petruzzi put the game out of reach, depositing the grand slam ball over the center field fence and making it 11-6 Boilermakers. A grounder to first base brought Illinois to the plate one last time.
A leadoff walk gave the Illini hope, but a fielder's choice play at second and a grounder to the pitcher put them down to one final out. A hit batsman and a walk kept UI alive and filled the bases, but a fielder's choice play at second base capped the Boilermaker victory.
The scoring, however, got started in the opening stanza as Illinois put up three runs on four hits. An RBI double and a two-run homer put the Fighting Illini on the board.
Purdue responded with four runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning. Garst walked and stole second and third to start the Boilermaker effort. Varsho followed with a walk, then Rains put Purdue on the board with a single to right center. Rains stole second, putting two in scoring position for McMillan who plated both with a double to right. A sacrifice bunt moved McMillan to third, from which she scored on a single to right by freshman Lauren Grant. The next batter grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Illinois jumped ahead with three runs on three hits and an error in the second. A walk and a single set up a Meredith Hackett RBI double. With runners at second and third, a grounder to third base brought in a run. A single put runners at the corners, setting up an RBI ground ball for the Illini. A fielding error on the play advanced the lead runner to third, but a grounder to the shortstop stranded her.
The Boilermakers cut the margin to one on an RBI triple by freshman Tori Chiodo. Chiodo's hit brought in sophomore Ashley Courtney who had doubled to left to start the inning and also brought Tarnawa into the circle for UI. A fielder's choice play at the plate put a runner on second. A single and a steal set up another RBI opportunity, but a double play thwarted Purdue's push for a tie.
McMillan and Petruzzi singled in the third, but were unable to score. McMillan added another single in the fifth and went to second on a ground out, but was left stranded.
The Illini threatened in the sixth, but stout Purdue defense kept them off the scoreboard. A single and an error put runners at the corners. A grounder to third base moved up the trail runner. A fielder's choice play at the plate and a strikeout gave the Boilermakers an open door for the comeback.