May 11, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Boilermaker softball team's midweek trek to East Lansing ended in a draw as Purdue and Michigan State split the Wednesday doubleheader. Purdue took the first game 5-0 as senior Suzie Rzegocki struck out nine batters in a six-hit shutout victory, picking up her record-tying 26th win of the season, but dropped Game 2 3-2 as the Spartans held off several late-inning rally attempts.
Purdue (30-16-2, 8-7-1 Big Ten) wraps up the regular season in Bloomington this weekend, taking on instate foe Indiana at 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Friday's contest will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Purdue 5, Michigan State 0
Rzegocki's effort in the circle, which tied her for the season wins record with Brooke Baker (2007), set the table for a five run, 10-hit offensive showing. Rzegocki, junior Molly Garst and freshmen Lindsey Rains and Tori Chiodo accounted for two hits apiece.
Lauren Kramer (8-5) was saddled with the loss for MSU, while Shelby Wise and Rebecca Rogers also saw time in the circle for the Spartans.
Purdue stranded two in the opening stanza after drawing a pair of walks. Garst and Rains drew the free passes and moved into scoring position on a ground out, but a strikeout left both on base.
MSU left a runner on third in both the first and the second innings, failing to convert on a leadoff single in the first and a one-out triple in the second.
The Boilermakers broke onto the scoreboard with two runs on four hits in the third. Chiodo and Garst sent back-to-back singles up the middle. Rains came to the plate with runners at second at third after Varsho reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. The rookie delivered with a single through the right side to plate both. Rzegocki hit a two out single to the shortstop to keep the rally going, but a liner to third base prevented Purdue from adding to the 2-0 advantage.
The Spartans stranded two again in the third after a fielder's choice and a single.
A Spartan pitching change held Purdue at bay in the fourth, but the Boilermakers were back at it, popping for two runs on four hits in the fifth. Rains and sophomore Erika Petruzzi singled to put runners at the corners for Rzegocki, who brought Rains home with a single through the left side. Freshman Danielle Fletcher lifted a single into centerfield to bring Petruzzi in for the second score.
Chiodo made it 5-0 with a one-out solo shot off Rogers in the sixth. The long ball, the first of her collegiate career, cleared the fence in left field. Garst followed with a single to left and stole second. Varsho joined her with a walk, but a pair of fly balls to the outfield capped the inning.
MSU went down in order in the sixth as did Purdue in the seventh, giving the Spartans one last shot. A leadoff double and a fly ball put a runner at third. A single to the shortstop and steal added to the threat, but Rzegocki forced grounders to third base and to the shortstop to seal the win.
Michigan State 3, Purdue 2
Purdue looked to carry the momentum into Game 2 with a pair of first inning runs, but the Spartans answered with three in the first two stanzas and held off the Boilermakers down the stretch en route to the 3-2 victory.
Michigan State managed its three runs on five hits, while allowing Purdue two runs on eight hits and two errors. Junior Molly Garst and freshman Lindsey Rains each posted a pair of hits for the Boilermaker side.
Cassee Layne (15-15) struck out five in the MSU win, while senior Suzie Rzegocki issued five Ks in the losing bid for Purdue.
The Boilermakers strung together three hits for a pair of runs in the first. Garst started the game with a single to the shortstop and went to second on a ground out. Rains brought her home with a single to left, and went to second on the throw to the plate. Freshman Danielle Fletcher swapped spots with Rains, picking up the RBI and winding up on second after a single to left and a fielding error by the left fielder. A pair of ground outs left Fletcher aboard at the end of the stanza.
MSU answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on a head's up base running play. A single, a walk and a sacrifice put two Spartans in scoring position. Rzegocki walked to the back of the circle after a pitch to the next batter and stepped beyond the line allowing the lead runner, Lori Padilla to scurry home for a steal. A grounder and a strikeout got Purdue out of the inning.
The Spartans went up 3-2 with a pair of runs on three hits in the second. A pair of singles and a passed ball again gave MSU runners at second and third. A fielder's choice play at the plate went in favor of Michigan State, tying the game. A Karen Fox single to center field put MSU on top.
Both teams went down in order in the third, but Purdue got a base runner in the fourth. Petruzzi singled and went to second on a fielding error by the center fielder. A ground ball pushed her to third, but the Spartans made a nice play on a ricocheting ground ball to save a run.
Purdue had its best chance to surge ahead in the fifth. A pair of singles by Garst and Varsho and a fielder's choice play which put Rains aboard filled the bases with one out. A fielder's choice play at home and a strikeout erased the threat.
The Boilermakers managed a one-out walk in the sixth as pinch hitter/first baseman Kristin Morgan accepted the four-pitch free pass, but a rally was not to be.
Rains sent a two-out single into left center to keep hope alive in the seventh, but a fly ball to right field ended the game.