May 6, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn- The Boilermaker bats exploded on the Minnesota softball team for 12 runs on 13 hits in the series finale with the Gophers, which also saw senior Katie Hackney strike out four batters in the winning effort.
Purdue scored in 12 runs on 13 hits and two Gopher miscues, while Minnesota managed two runs on seven hits and an error in the mercy rule contest. Senior Molly Garst and junior Maia Monchek led the Boilermaker bats with three hits apiece, while junior Erika Petruzzi and Danielle Fletcher each posted two hits.
Hackney moved to 7-3 on the year with the complete-game win, while Alissa Koch (6-7) was saddled with the loss for Minnesota. Kelsey Kimmenau also saw time in the circle for the Gophers, tossing two innings of relief.
The Boilermaker bats come out hot as the team poured on three runs in the first inning. Sophomore Lindsey Rains drew a four-pitch walk to start the game. She went to third the following play as Garst laid down a beautiful bunt single and a late throw bounced off the covering second baseman's glove. Petruzzi put Purdue up 2-0 with a triple to left center and came home as Monchek poked a single up the right field line.
Purdue rallied for four more runs in the third inning. Petruzzi drew a leadoff walk and was joined on base by junior Ashley Courtney and Monchek, who singled. Fletcher bounced a double off the center field wall to plate two runs. Monchek scored as sophomore Andie Varsho grounded out to the shortstop. Fletcher beat out a fielder's choice play at the plate on a bunt by freshman Ashley Burkhardt to make it 7-0.
Minnesota got two runs back on a Erica Meyer home run in the third. The hit came after a fielder's choice play erased a leadoff single.
The Boilermakers combined five hits for a trio of runs in the fourth. Garst singled, stole second and went to third on a ground out before scoring on a Monchek single. Monchek went to second on a fielding error on the back end of her hit and came around to score as Fletcher lifted a two run shot to dead center field. Varsho and Burkhardt also had hits in the inning, but were unable to score.
Purdue made it 12-2 score combining two hits and a hit batsman in the fifth. Rains was pegged on the elbow to start the stanza and came home to score on a Garst double to left center. Garst advanced to third on the throw home, setting up an RBI single by Petruzzi. A trio of pop ups brought Minnesota to the plate one final time.
The Gophers got a leadoff single in the fifth. A two-out walk kept hope alive after a strikeout and fielder's choice play at second base. A diving snag on a grounder to second base by Burkhardt sealed the mercy-rule win.
The Boilermakers (31-19, 13-7 Big Ten) will face No. 25 Michigan (36-15, 15-5 Big Ten) on Friday and Saturday with a shot at the Big Ten title on the line. Friday's game will air live at 6 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.