WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Boilermaker softball team had a base runner in every inning and scored in four stanzas en route to a 7-2 win over Michigan State on Saturday to even the weekend series at a game apiece.
Purdue scored its seven runs on 10 hits and two MSU miscues, while holding the Spartans to two runs on five hits and an error. Eight different players posted hits for the Boilermakers, including sophomore Ashley Burkhardt and junior Danielle Fletcher, who each managed two hits.
Freshman Lilly Fecho (6-11) went the distance for the Boilermakers, striking out three Spartans and sitting MSU down in order three times in the victory. Dani Foranson (3-6) was charged with the loss for MSU, after giving up four runs on five hits in the first three and a third innings. Carly Nielsen allowed three runs on five hits in the relief effort.
After turning a double play to end a Spartan threat in the first, the Boilermakers capitalized on MSU miscues for a run in the bottom of the inning. Burkhardt led off the stanza with a single to left field and went to second on a fielding miscue. A sacrifice pushed her to third, from which she scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Senior Maia Monchek was hit by a pitch to give Purdue a leadoff runner in the second, but the Boilermakers were unable to add to their advantage.
Junior Lindsey Rains poked a two-out single into right field to get things going in the third inning. She promptly stole second and was joined on base by junior Andie Varsho, who was intentionally walked. Fletcher picked up the RBI with a single up the middle. A single by Monchek loaded the bases, but a strikeout kept the Purdue lead at 2-0.
The Spartans threatened in the fourth, but failed to convert on a leadoff double as a Fecho strikeout stranded the runner at third.
The Boilermakers broke the game open with a four-run fourth inning, which featured seven stolen bases. Freshman Paris Andrew set the table for the first score, leading off with a single and advancing to third on a passed ball and a steal. She then slid around the tag on a fielder's choice play at the plate to make it 3-0. Purdue soon had runners at second and third with help from two stolen bases and a single by Burkhardt. A sacrifice fly scored senior Ashley Courtney from third. Varsho then drew a walk and swiped second on a continuation play, the front end of a double steal that saw Burkhardt score. After a passed ball moved Varsho to third, Fletcher drew a walk, setting up another double steal to make it 6-0 as Varsho nabbed home.
Michigan State snapped the shutout bid pushing across two runs on a hit and an error in the sixth. The Spartans coupled a leadoff walk with a triple for the first score. A fielding error the following play allowed the second.
Senior Erika Petruzzi got one run back for the Boilermakers launching a pinch hit home run to start the sixth. Varsho and Fletcher also posted two-out singles in the inning.
The Spartans loaded the bases in the seventh, but the Purdue defense held to close out the win. A walk, a hit by pitch and a single would have filled the bases with one out, but an interference call on the hit left MSU with runners at first and second. A bunt single gave the Spartans a bases loaded chance, but Varsho bagged a fly ball in right field to wrap up the game.
The Boilermakers (15-21, 3-5 Big Ten) wrap up the series with the Spartans at 1 p.m. Sunday, as the team celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Fans are asked to wear pink to support the event. Pink Purdue softball T-shirt will be given out to the first 100 fans in attendance.
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