May 15, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Missed offensive opportunities loomed large as the Boilermaker softball team fell 4-1 to No. 19 Louisville in Purdue's first game of the NCAA Regionals. Purdue stranded 10 runners, including the bases loaded twice in each of the last two innings.
Louisville scored its four runs on 13 hits, while the Boilermakers managed one run on five hits. Senior Katie Mitchell went 2-for-4 with a home run, while three other players added hits.
Kristen Wadwell (41-8) issued seven strikeouts in the complete-game victory, while sophomore Suzie Rzegocki (23-12) struck out two in five and a third innings of work. Senior Dana Alcocer pitched the final two thirds of an inning for Purdue.
"Our defense played well and Suzie pitched well, our problem tonight was that our offense did not produce enough runs to win it," head coach Kim Maher said. "Tomorrow against UT Martin, we need our offense to produce throughout the order."
The Boilermakers threatened in the first, but could not score junior Liane Horiuchi from third. Horiuchi was hit by the first pitch of the game. She then stole second and moved to third on the second of two ground outs, before a strikeout stranded her in scoring position.
The Cardinals also put a runner on third in the first and were held scoreless. A leadoff single gave UofL a baserunner, then a sacrifice and ground out moved her to third. A fly ball to center capped the inning.
Louisville got a second inning double, but to no avail.
Purdue put two in scoring position in the third, after a pair of singles and a sacrifice, but could not manage a run. Senior Christina Trauger led off with a single back toward the pitcher, then senior Kelly Miller followed with a bunt single. Freshman Molly Garst laid down the sacrifice to push both into scoring position, but a grounder to the shortstop prevented any scoring.
Louisville got on the board in the bottom of the third with a successful double steal. Vanessa James led off with a single up the middle and stole second. A single to right put Melissa Roth on and pushed James to third. Roth took off for second, drawing a throw and was called safe in a close play. James was able to just sneak around the tag of the Purdue catcher after the throw home to make it 1-0.
Senior Katie Mitchell evened the score on a single swing of the bat in the fourth. Mitchell deposited a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence, her 11th long ball of the season, to lead off the innning and make it 1-1.
A pair of singles gave U of L runners in the bottom of the inning, but a double play and a great jumping grab by third baseman Candace Curtis brought the inning to a close with a runner stranded on second.
Horiuchi drew a two-out walk in the fifth before a fly ball to center field ended the stanza.
The Cardinals took the lead with a run on three hits in the fifth. Louisville had runners at first and second with two outs after a single and a fielder's choice. A diving play on a single up the middle led to a close play at second base. Heads up base running by the lead runner allowed her to come home on the play.
The Boilermakers loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth, but could not muster a run. Senior Candace Curtis reached on a fielding error by the second base. Mitchell followed with a single to right, then junior Jenna Alexander reached on a fielding miscue by the third baseman. A pair of strikeouts and a pop up to the catcher prevented any scoring.
UofL added a run on a bases loaded RBI single by Kristin Austin, which prompted a Purdue pitching change. Senior Dana Alcocer took over in the circle and prompted an RBI fielder's choice to third base and a fly ball to right to get out of the inning with the score 4-1. A pair of single and a hit batsman had filled the bases with one out.
Purdue had a chance for seventh-inning heroics, loading the bases with one out. Horiuchi walked. Garst followed with a single up the middle and Curtis earned a free pass. A looking strikeout and a grounder to third base cut the comeback effort short.
The Boilermakers (29-19) return to the field at noon Saturday, when they take on UT Martin in an elimination game.