April 21, 2012
URBANA, Ill. - The Boilermaker bats came through with three runs in the seventh to pull off a 4-2 comeback victory over Illinois softball in Game 2 on Saturday. Purdue trailed 2-0 after three innings and scored one in the fifth and three in the seventh to snag the win.
Freshman Lexy Moore (19-6) struck out two batters in the complete-game victory, while relief pitcher Pepper Gay (15-12) was saddled with the loss after tossing the final three innings. Jackie Gay threw the first four innings, striking out two.
Purdue registered two early hits as Garst and Varsho tapped one-out hits to left in the first, but a ground ball and a strikeout prevented the Boilermakers from capitalizing on the hits.
The Illini jumped on the board, combining two hits and a fielder's choice for a score in the second inning. A single and the fielder's choice play gave Illinois two runners. A ground ball to second base moved them into scoring position. An Alex Booker infield single made it 1-0. Moore struck out the next batter to avoid further damage.
Illinois combined a walk and a double for a score in the third. A Jess Perkins double to left center brought in the run after the one-out walk.
The Boilermakers got a run back in the fifth on an RBI single to left by junior Erika Petruzzi. The hit came with runners at second and third and one out. Junior Ashley Courtney started the offensive rally with a double to left center and went to third on a single to left by sophomore Danielle Fletcher. Pinch runner Gabi Brown stole second to set up the Petruzzi single. A pair of ground outs left two runners aboard.
Purdue turned a double play to erase an Illini scoring threat in the fifth after a one-out single and a walk.
With their backs against the wall, the Boilermakers came through in a big way filling the basepaths to start the stanza. Monchek singled, freshman Ashley Burkhardt reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt and sophomore Tori Chiodo added a bunt single. A fielder's choice play at the plate made it one out with Garst coming to bat. The senior came through in the clutch for Purdue, plating two runs with a single up the right field line. Varsho followed with an RBI single to third base. Courtney drew a walk, loading the bases again, but a strike out and ground ball to the pitch ended the inning.
A one-out fielding error and two-out walk gave Illinois hope in the seventh, but a fly ball to center field clinched the Boilermaker victory.
Purdue looks to win the series when the teams meet at 2 p.m. Sunday.