May 10, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - No. 16 Nebraska made a late offensive push stealing away a 3-2 win from the Purdue softball team in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The Boilermakers held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of sixth inning before the Husker charge, which ended Purdue's season in the single-elimination format event.
Purdue scored its two runs on six hits and two errors, including a three-hit night by junior Lindsey Rains and two hits from sophomore Ashley Burkhardt. Nebraska managed its three runs on nine hits, including three hits in the sixth-inning rally.
Nebraska's Tatum Edwards improved to 26-8 with the win in the circle, including eight walks and seven strikeouts. Sophomore Lexy Moore (11-15) struck out two in the complete-game effort for the Boilers.
The Boilermakers loaded the bases to start the game as junior Andie Varsho drew a leadoff walk and Rains and Burkhardt added singles. After a fielder's choice play at the plate, junior Tori Chiodo and senior Maia Monchek drew back-to-back RBI walks to put Purdue on the board. The Huskers recovered after a wild pitch play at the plate and an infield grounder kept the Boilers from adding to the 2-0 lead.
Nebraska countered in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a pair of doubles. Walks to senior Ashley Courtney and Varsho and a single by Rains loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Purdue couldn't push a run across.
Burkhardt led off the fifth sending a single up the middle, but she was out on a fielder's choice the next play. A throwing error on another fielder's choice gave Purdue runners at first and second, but a play at third and a fly ball ended the scoring threat.
Purdue threatened again in the sixth as senior Erika Petruzzi and Courtney walked to start the stanza. Rains lined a single up the middle, but pinch runner Sydney Pencek was called out in a close play at the plate, as the Boilers attempted to bring her in from second.
Nebraska spoiled Purdue's upset bid, plating two runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning. A single and a sacrifice bunt set up the first run, which came in on a Hailey Decker single to left. With two outs and Decker at third, Mattie Fowler sent a single up the right field line to bring in the game winner.
The Boilers kept hope alive as Chiodo lifted a one-out single into left field in the seventh, but a ground ball to the pitcher and a hard line drive at the shortstop ended the game.
Purdue finishes the season at 23-32, including a 8-15 mark in Big Ten play. Friday night's game also marked the end of the careers for three Boilermaker seniors: first baseman Ashley Courtney, outfielder Maia Monchek and pitcher/outfielder/designated player Erika Petruzzi.