April 29, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The spotlight was on the Boilermaker seniors in their final home game and the pair came through big in a 6-5 victory over Wisconsin. Molly Garst led the Purdue bats and Katie Hackney picked up the win on Sunday as Purdue won the series with the Badgers and reached the 30-win milestone for the 15th time in program history.
Garst went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and two RBI as Purdue posted six runs on seven hits and three errors. Hackney (6-3) struck out two in the winning effort in three innings of relief work. Hackney and freshman Lexy Moore allowed the Badgers five runs on 10 hits.
The Boilermakers scored first combining a hit, a wild pitch and two ground out for a run in the first inning. Garst singled through the right side to start the stanza, went to third on a wild pitch and ground out before scoring on a ground ball to second base by sophomore Andie Varsho.
Purdue tacked on two more runs in the third on three hits and a Badger error. Garst laid down a bunt and wound up at third on the play as the late throw to first rolled all the way to the right field wall. Sophomore Lindsey Rains singled and stole second to put two runners in scoring position for junior Ashley Courtney, who sent both home with a two-out single to left.
Wisconsin knotted the score at three with three runs on four hits in the fourth. A single, a double and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out. A single brought in the first run. A squeeze bunt plated another and a single to left scored the third. A runner was caught stealing to end the inning.
The Boilermakers jumped back on top with a pair of runs on a hit and an error in the bottom of the inning. Junior Erika Petruzzi walked and was joined on base by junior Maia Monchek, who reached on a fielding error. Garst came through with a two-out double to right center to give Purdue a 5-3 advantage.
The back-and-forth battle continued as the Badgers knotted the score at 5-5 in the fifth. Hackney took over in the circle to start the stanza and struck out the first UW batter. A pair of two-out singles and another hit by pitch filled the bases for Shannel Blackshear, who plated two with a double to left. Another strikeout capped the inning and left three stranded.
Purdue combined a Petruzzi leadoff double and a clutch RBI single by freshman Ashley Burkhardt for the game-winner in the sixth. Burkhardt's sharp hit to center was enough to push Petruzzi home. She went to second on the throw home and third on a wild pitch, but a foul out and grounder to first base kept the score at 6-5.
A one-out double and a two-out walk gave Wisconsin life in the seventh, but Hackney fielded a grounder and flipped it to first for the final out.
The Boilermakers (30-17, 12-5 Big Ten) return to action at 1 p.m. ET Saturday when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis to kick off a three-game set.