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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Following its walk-off win Saturday night, Purdue (19-35, 8-14 B1G) used more late-inning heroics to defeat Nebraska (24-27, 13-9 B1G) 6-4 in front of a record crowd at Bittinger Stadium. 1,089 fans were in attendance to witness Katie Johnson's complete-game victory to clinch the series against the Huskers.
Last night, Maya Hughes provided the game-winning run to give Purdue its third walk-off victory of the season in Bittinger Stadium. Today, it was Kristin Hoppman who delivered the blow to score the go-ahead run in the sixth and claim Purdue's first lead of the day.
The Boilermakers began the sixth inning trailing the Huskers 4-3 but Lexi Huffman and Johnson gave Purdue a chance at a comeback when they each singled to turn over the lineup with just one out. With runners on first and second, Hughes sent a rocket through the left side to score the pinch runner, Maddie Damon, from second and tie the game at four. Johnson and Hughes took advantage of Nebraska's throw to the plate and advanced an extra base, giving Hoppman two runners in scoring position. Hoppman promptly delivered a single to left-center that would score both runners and lift Purdue to a 6-4 lead.
Prior to that inning the Boilermakers were trailing from the start as Nebraska jumped out to a two-run lead in the first, presenting the opportunity for Johnson to come in and earn her third complete-game victory of the season. The senior threw seven innings and gave up just two runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts while retiring the side in order five times.
The Boilermakers pulled within one of the Huskers in the second when Kaylah Hampton came through with a two-out single to score Madison Douglass but Nebraska responded with a run in the third to hold its two-run advantage. The two-run cushion for Nebraska was short lived however as Purdue also scored a run in the third thanks to a leadoff single by Hughes who would later score on a single by Alexa Binckes. The Boilermakers then tied the game in the fifth, again thanks to a leadoff single by Hughes that set up an RBI-single by Lexi Valone. Nebraska reestablished its lead in the top of the sixth with a run but for the second night in a row, Purdue rallied to defeat the Huskers with its three runs in the bottom of the inning to clinch the series 6-4.
Hughes continues to be the catalyst for the offense against Nebraska as she registered three hits and an RBI in four trips to the plate and scored three runs for the Boilermakers. With today's performance, she is now four-for-eight with five runs scored and an RBI in the series. Altogether, Hughes is responsible for six of Purdue's 10 runs against the Huskers.
The junior was one-of-four Boilermakers who enjoyed multi-hit days in the win as Hoppman, Binckes and Hampton each finished the game with two hits. Johnson has also enjoyed success against Nebraska overall as she has now allowed just three earned runs 10.1 innings of work in the two victories.
Purdue will attempt to sweep Nebraska tomorrow at Noon in Bittinger Stadium. The final game of the regular season marks Senior Day for the Boilermakers as Hoppman, Johnson and Valone will be honored prior to the start of the contest.