May 10, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Boilermaker softball team held off a late charge by the Michigan State Spartans en route to an 8-5 victory Thursday night to advance to Day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Boilermakers put up eight runs on nine hits and an error, including base hits by six different players. Juniors Andie Varsho and Danielle Fletcher along with senior Ashley Courtney had two-hit days.
Sophomore Lexy Moore (11-14) struck out four Spartans in the winning effort, while freshman Lilly Fecho issued three Ks in two innings of relief work. Kelly Smith (18-16) was saddled with the loss for MSU, giving up five earned runs in five innings of work. Reliever Dani Goranson threw the final two innings for the Spartans.
After putting a runner on to no avail in the first and second innings, the Boilers broke onto the scoreboard with one swing of the bat, courtesy of a three-run homer by Varsho. The long ball plated senior Erika Petruzzi and Courtney, who had reached on a walk and a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt to start the inning.
Michigan State threatened in the fourth, putting to aboard on a single and a fielder's choice, but the Boilermaker defense held.
Fletcher added two runs to the Purdue tally in the fifth with a bases loaded single down the right field line. The hit followed a Courtney double, and walks to Varsho and sophomore Ashley Burkhardt. A walk put junior Tori Chiodo aboard, but the Boilermakers could not add to the 5-0 lead.
Purdue took advantage of the Spartan pitching change, combining four hits and an error for a trio of runs in the sixth. Petruzzi reached on an error and Courtney singled, but a play at the plate kept the Boilers from scoring on a Varsho double to the center field wall. Junior Lindsey Rains was hit by a pitch to refill the bags for the Boilermakers, setting ujp a two-run single to left by Burkhardt. Fletcher added another RBI to her tally with a sharp single to the shortstop.
The Spartans snapped the shutout, plating five runs on six hits. A trio of singles put MSU on the board. A fourth loaded the bases and prompted the Purdue pitching change. Fecho struck out the first batter she faced, but Michigan State managed a two-run double and two RBI single to cut the margin to 8-5. Another strikeout and a liner to the left fielder got Purdue out of the inning.
Senior Maia Monchek singled in the seventh, but was later caught stealing.
MSU went down in order in the seventh, including the final out on a strikeout, to cap the Purdue victory and set up Friday's meeting with No. 2 seed Nebraska. The game is set for an 8 p.m. ET start. Watch and listen live at purduesports.com.