April 15, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker softball time was clicking on all cylinders against Ball State on Wednesday, using nearly perfect pitching, strong defense and timely hitting in a 7-1 win. The victory is the 499th in program history, setting the table for a potential milestone performance at Valparaiso on Thursday, when the Boilermakers and Crusaders face off in a 3 p.m. twin bill.
Sophomore Suzie Rzegocki (17-9) sat five Cardinals down via strikeout and allowed just two hits in six innings en route to the victory, while senior Dana Alcocer struck out one in an inning of relief work. Laura Masch (5-4) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs on four hits in an inning and two thirds.
The Boilermakers racked up seven runs on eight hits, including 2-for-3 efforts by seniors Kelly Miller and Candace Curtis. Ball State managed its one unearned run on three hits and two Purdue miscues.
Purdue loaded the bases to start the game as Masch walked three of the first four Boilermakers she faced. Freshman Molly Garst then put the team on the board with a two-run double to right field. Sophomore Beth Cinadr tacked on two more runs with a single to left field. A pair of ground outs wrapped up the stanza. Senior Liane Horiuchi, Curtis and junior Jenna Alexander drew the walks. Horiuchi and Curtis also tallied stolen bases in the inning.
The Cardinals got one run back in the second with help from Purdue miscues. Alyssa Collins drew the leadoff walk and advanced around the bases on a wild pitch, a grounder to second base and a passed ball.
The Boilermakers countered with a run on two hits in the bottom of the inning. Miller looped a single into short left field to start things off. Horiuchi followed with a bunt single, then the pair pulled off a double steal. Senior Katie Mitchell brought Miller home with a sacrifice fly to left. Relief pitcher Elizabeth Milian entered and forced a line drive to second base to prevent further damage and strand Horiuchi at third.
Ball State threatened in the fourth, putting two aboard with a fielding error and a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, but a ground ball to third base kept the Cardinals from capitalizing on the opportunity.
The Boilermakers combined two hits and a hit batsman for a run in the fourth. Miller reached on a one-out bunt single. Horiuchi was then hit by a pitch, pushing Miller to second. Curtis supplied the RBI hit with a sharp single through the left side. A fielder's choice and ground out kept the score at 6-1.
A dropped third strike proved costly for the Cardinals in the fifth. Garst struck out, but reached on the passed ball on the dropped third strike, giving Purdue a base runner to start the inning. Another passed ball moved her to second, then she stole third, setting the table for sophomore Shelby Krammer, who brought her home with a double that landed just short of the right fielder who lost her footing trying to make the play. A pair of ground outs stranded pinch runner Kaity Stratten.
Kim Mazzapica took over in the circle in the sixth and allowed Curtis a one-out single and was charged with an illegal pitch to move her to second. Mazzapica rebounded with a strikeout and a ground out to prevent the Boilermakers from adding to their 7-1 lead.
Ball State kept hope alive in the seventh as Jen Reifschneider registered a leadoff single against Alcocer, who entered to finished the game in the circle for Purdue. A wild pitch moved pinch runner Katelyn Gunderson to second, but Alcocer recorded a strikeout and prompted two ground outs to wrap up the game.
Purdue (21-14) returns to action at 3 p.m. Thursday when the team takes on Valparaiso in a road doubleheader.