WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It may have been Senior Day at the Varsity Softball Complex on Sunday, but it was a pair of freshmen who came through in the clutch. Purdue topped Wisconsin 4-3 in nine innings thanks to a leadoff walk by Tori Chiodo and a two-out RBI single by Lindsey Rains, which sealed the come-back victory.
Rains went 4-for-4 and posted a walk to lead the Purdue bats, which managed four runs on nine hits and two errors. Rookie Danielle Fletcher also had two hits in the contest. Wisconsin put up its three runs on seven hits and two errors.
Senior Suzie Rzegocki (25-14) struck out five in the victory, while Cassandra Darrah (15-10) issued seven Ks in the losing effort for Wisconsin. Amanda Najdek also saw action for the Badgers, allowing a run on three hits in two and a third innings of work.
Junior Molly Garst led off the game for the Purdue offense with a single to left, but she was caught stealing for the second out of the inning. Rains followed with a two-out walk, but was left stranded.
Wisconsin stranded a base runner in the second after tallying a pair of hits. With a runner at second and one outs, the Badgers tried to score on a single to left, but the Boilermakers tagged the lead runner at the plate thwarting the threat.
A fielding error and a sacrifice bunt put sophomore Erika Petruzzi on second in the home half of the inning, but a pop up and strikeout kept the game scoreless.
The Badgers put up two unearned runs on a hit and two errors in the third. After a walk and an infield single, Wisconsin capitalized on a pair of Purdue errors to score. A fielding error and a throwing miscue brought in the runs, but a strikeout and grounder to the pitcher prevented further damage.
Wisconsin combined a triple and a sacrifice fly for a score in the fourth. Stephanie Peace led off the stanza with a triple to right and came home on Kendall Grimm's sac fly to center.
Purdue got two runs back in the fourth on three hits and an error. Rains led off with a bunt single and went to third the next play on a botched fielder's choice. Rzegocki reached safely on the fielder's choice which saw the second base misplay the throw from the shortstop. A single up the middle by Petruzzi put the Boilermakers on the scoreboard. Fletcher loaded the bases with a single into shallow left field. Senior Shelby Krammer picked up the RBI with a sacrifice fly to left off the reliever Najdek, who had just entered the game. A foul out and a grounder prevented Purdue from tying the score.
The Boilermakers combined a pair of hits in the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. Rains sent a two-out single into right center and went to second on a wild pitch, setting the table for Rzegocki, who knotted the score with a single up the middle. A fielder's choice play at second kept Purdue from taking the lead.
The Boilermakers wasted runners at the corners in the sixth after Fletcher doubled and Chiodo walked in the inning. The stanza also saw Darrah take back over in the circle with one out Fletcher standing at third after a ground out.
Both teams failed to make good on singles in the seventh. The Badgers got a two-out single, which was nullified by a fly out. Rains, meanwhile, gave Purdue a one-out single to the shortstop, but was left stranded by a pop up and fly out.
Wisconsin got a runner to third in the eighth with a double and a ground out, but an outstanding catch by second baseman Ashley Courtney kept the game knotted at 3-3.
Chiodo came to the plate after the Badgers went down in order in the ninth. A five-pitch walk put the rookie aboard, then a grounder to the shortstop pushed her into scoring position. With two outs, Rains stepped into the box and laced a change up just past the diving second baseman to cap the game.
The Boilermakers (29-15-2, 7-6-1) return to action at 2 p.m. Wednesday, when they take on Michigan State in East Lansing. The double header with air live on WSHY 1410 AM and purduesports.com. Live statistics will be provided via GameTracker at purduesports.com.