April 18, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker softball team stared down a 10-3 deficit to No. 10 Northwestern and battled back to bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but could not manage a come-from-behind win. Purdue fell to the Wildcats 10-8 despite the valiant comeback bid, which including five runs in the final two innings.
"We made adjustments in Game 2, but Northwestern did as well," head coach Kim Maher said. "We made things happen when we got on base and fought throughout. Today just shows our team that we can play with top-ranked teams."
Northwestern scored its 10 runs on 13 hits, while Purdue managed its eight runs on seven hits and two Wildcat errors. Seniors Katie Mitchell and Kelly Miller each posted two hits in the game, during which the Boilermakers celebrated senior day.
Lauren Delaney (25-8) struck out 10 in the complete-game victory for NU, while senior Dana Alcocer (4-6) was saddled with the loss for Purdue. Senior Ashley DiDomenico and sophomore Suzie Rzegocki also saw action in the circle for the Boilermakers.
An Adrienne Monka home run in the first put Northwestern on the board, but the Boilermaker defense forced the Wildcats to leave the bases loaded to end the stanza.
The Wildcats tacked on four more runs on four hits in the second. A three-run home run by Tammy Williams and solo shot by Mona accounted for the scores.
The Boilermakers got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Junior Jenna Alexander drew a leadoff walk. Pinch runner Alicia Spack was sacrificed to second and went to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Beth Cinadr was walked to give Purdue runners at the corners with one out. A sharp hit toward first base was mishandled by the NU first baseman allowing senior Christina Trauger to reach safely as Spack scored on the play.
Northwestern combined a tripled and a sacrifice fly for a score in the third to make it 6-1.
Purdue threatened in the third as junior Liane Horiuchi led off with a single and went to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch. A strikeout kept Purdue from capitalizing on the scoring opportunity.
The Boilermakers began to mount their comeback with a two-run fourth. A Cinadr sacrifice fly drove in freshman Molly Garst, who was waiting on third after a walk and two wild pitches. A two-out triple by Miller plated junior Ashley Barr, who had walked. A strikeout stranded Miller at third.
Senior Candace Curtis doubled to start the five and Mitchell followed with a single to left to give Purdue a scoring threat, but Delaney struck out two and forced a pop up to deny a Boilermaker run.
Northwestern extended its lead to 10-3 with four runs on three hits in the sixth. The Wildcats combined a single and a double for one run. A hit batsman gave NU two aboard, then Michelle Batts lifted a home run to bring everyone home.
Purdue answered with three runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning. A wild pitch on a dropped third strike put Trauger on base to start the rally. Another wild pitch moved her to second, from which she scored on a single up the middle by Miller. Barr went to second on the hit after reaching on a walk. Mitchell then doubled to left field, plating both before advancing to third on a the throw home. A ground out left Mitchell standing at third as the inning ended.
Northwestern wasted a seventh-inning double to bring Purdue to the plate one final mind with the comeback hopes still alive.
The Boilermakers made good on a Northwestern defensive miscue for their first run in the final inning. Garst walked and Cinadr followed with a single up the middle. A fielding error by the center fielder allowed Cinadr to go to third on the play as Garst scored. Trauger supplied a sacrifice fly to drive in Cinadr and make it a two-run game. Barr walked, stole second and went to third on a ground out as the tying run stepped to the plate. A high fly out to right field wrapped up the stanza, preventing the comeback bid.
Purdue (23-16, 6-6 Big Ten) return to action on Wednesday when the team travels to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a 5 p.m. doubleheader.