April 14, 2011
CHICAGO, Ill. - After battling for more than three hours in chilly temperatures and steady 20 mph winds, the Loyola Ramblers edged Purdue 4-3 in 11 innings on Thursday. The teams combined for 25 hits in the contest, but it was an error that ended the contest.
Loyola scored its four runs on 12 hits and an error, while stranding nine runners. Purdue managed three runs on 13 hits and two errors, while stranding 13 runners, including nine in scoring position. Freshman Andie Varsho led the Boilermaker bats with a 4-for-6 effort, while freshman Danielle Fletcher added three hits and freshman Lindsey Rains chipped in two.
Reliever Keali Engelkens (4-1) was credited with the win, striking out two in the final inning and two thirds. Starter Brittany Gardner struck out seven before exiting the game in the 10th. Senior Suzie Rzegocki (21-11) was saddled with the loss for Purdue after allowing three runs and striking out four batters in the final three stanzas. Junior Katie Hackney issued six strikeouts before being relieved with one out in the eighth.
The teams were tied at 1-1 after five innings and remained that way until each team scored a pair of runs in the 10th. Purdue stranded two runners in the 11th opening the door for Loyola heroics. Olivia Bell led off with a double to left center and the Ramblers sacrificed her to third. A ground ball to the pitcher looked to be the inning's first out, but the bang-bang play was nullified as the throw went into the dirt and the ball went into foul territory, allowing the winning run to score.
Purdue got the scoring started, capitalizing on a pair of Loyola miscues for a run in the third. A fielder's choice and steal put junior Molly Garst on second with two outs. Varsho hit a grounder back to second baseman, who misplayed the ball, pushing Garst to third. The second baseman then misfired on her throw to first, allowing Garst to score.
After a pickoff thwarted a Loyola scoring opportunity following a triple in the third, the Ramblers were able to knot the score the next inning as Lauren Zaworski led off with a solo home run.
Varsho tallied her second hit of the game with a bunt single to start the sixth. She stole second and went to third on a grounder, but a strikeout kept the game knotted at 1-1. The Boilermakers managed a pair of hits in the seventh, but again came up empty. Fletcher sent a one-out single up the middle, but her pinch runner was caught stealing second. Sophomore Ashley Courtney added a single through the left side and went to second on a passed ball, but a grounder to the pitcher brought Loyola to the plate.
The Ramblers went down in order in the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
Purdue put two runners on in the eighth, but could not. Garst and Varsho tallied singles to start the inning, but Garst was caught stealing and Varsho was out on a fielder's choice. A walk extended the stanza, but third baseman made a snow-cone catch on a liner to end the inning.
Loyola loaded the bases with one out on a fielder's choice and two walks, bringing Rzegocki into the game. She struck out the first batter she faced then forced a pop up to the shortstop to escape damage and keep the game going.
Fletcher singled and Courtney reached on a fielder's choice in the ninth. A ground ball advanced them into scoring position, but a line drive to left field left them on base at innings' end.
The Boilermakers managed two runs on four hits in the 10th, but stranded two. Rains and freshman Kim McMillan launched back to back jacks with one out, bringing Engelkens into the circle. After giving up a pair of singles, she forced a ground out to escape further harm.
A Lauren Arceneaux two-run shot tied the game again at 3-3.
Purdue was unable to convert a pair of two-out singles in the 11th into runs on the scoreboard. A strikeout followed the Varsho single up the middle and Rains single to the shortstop to squash a potential rally.
The Boilermakers (25-12-1) return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday when they take on Ohio State in Columbus.