May 16, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior Dana Alcocer was a steady presence in the circle and her offense supplied five runs on seven hits as the Boilermakers toppled No. 19 Louisville 5-4 Saturday afternoon to advance to Sunday's championship game with No. 6 Arizona. Purdue will face the Wildcats at 2 p.m. If the Boilermakers should win in that contest, the teams would battle again at 4 p.m. for a Super Regional berth.
Purdue scored its five runs on nine hits and two errors, including two hit efforts by junior Liane Horiuchi, senior Candace Curtis and sophomore Suzie Rzegocki. For its part, Louisville managed four runs on four hits.
Alcocer (5-7) struck out five in the complete-game victory, while Kristen Wadwell was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs in two innings of work.
"We knew we had that Louisville was a good hitting team and that we were going to have to score runs to support our pitcher," head coach Kim Maher said. "We came out relaxed and loose on offense and Dana did a great job in the circle. She went into the seventh inning with a 5-4 lead and the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she found a way to get it done. I am excited for our players to have the opportunity to continue on in regional play. We look forward to tomorrow's game against Arizona and a great opportunity for a huge upset."
After scoring just one run against the Cardinals on Friday, the Boilermakers hung a three-spot on UofL in the first inning on Saturday. Junior Liane Horiuchi reached on a fielding error by the second baseman to start the bottom of the inning. She then stole second and went to third on single to second base by freshman Molly Garst. Garst swiped second to put two in scoring position for senior Candace Curtis, who delivered on the RBI opportunity with a two-run single to right. Curtis went to second on the throw home, then scored as junior Jenna Alexander lasered a single up the left field line. A sacrifice moved Alexander to second, but the Boilermakers could not capitalize further.
Purdue tacked on another run on a hit in the second. Horiuchi was hit by a pitch with two outs and stole second. Garst followed with a walk. Curtis again provided the scoring power with a single to right center. A pop up eventually ended the stanza.
The Boilermakers missed out on a scoring chance in the third, stranding runners at second and third. A fielder's choice and a single put senior Christina Trauger and sophomore Suzie Rzegocki on. A ground ball to third moved both up a base, but a strikeout left both on base.
After shutting down the Cardinals in order in each of the first three innings, Alcocer walked two and allowed a hit to fill the basepaths in the fourth. Louisville made good on the two-out scoring opportunity as Colby Wherry singled through the left side to plate two runs. A ground ball to third base got Purdue out of the inning without further damage.
Horiuchi got one run back with a leadoff home run to left in the bottom of the fourth.
The Cardinals cut the Purdue lead to one with a Chelsea Bemis two-out single in the fifth. The hit to left field brought home Melissa Roth and Patrika Barlow from second and third. Barlow walked to lead off the inning and Roth followed with a single and stolen base. UofL drew a walk after the Bemis hit, but a grounder back to the pitcher kept the Purdue on top.
Miller and Horiuchi laid down bunt singles to start the sixth. A strikeout accounted for the first out of the inning. The next batter lined into a double play to nullify the scoring threat.
The Cardinals went down in order on a pop up and two looking strikeouts to seal the Purdue victory.
The Boilermakers (31-19) return to action at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, when they take on No. 6 Arizona. The game be broadcast live on purduesports.com and on WSHY 1410 AM. Live statistics will be available on purduesports.com via the GameTracker feature.