WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes answered score for score in a nine-inning softball game that came down to the wire, but Iowa escaped the Boilermaker Softball Complex with a 4-3 win. Purdue stranded 14 runners in the game, while Iowa left 10 runners on.
Iowa managed its four runs on nine hits and two errors, while Purdue posted its three runs on nine hits and two errors. Eight different players had hits for the Boilermakers led by sophomore Ashley Burkhardt's two-hit effort.
The relief pitchers for both teams came up with the decisions. Micaela Whitney threw the final three and two thirds innings for the Hawkeyes in the win, while freshman Lilly Fecho was saddled with the loss after pitching the final stanza for Purdue.
Both teams failed to cash in on RBI opportunities in the first inning. Iowa wasted a leadoff baserunner, stranding her at second. The Boilermakers left the bases full after a two-out rally that saw junior Andie Varsho single and steal second and juniors Danielle Fletcher and Tori Chiodo walk.
The teams echoed one another again in the second, each leaving a runner in scoring position. Iowa left its runner at third, while senior Maia Monchek ended the stanza at second for Purdue after reaching on a leadoff single.
Iowa wasted a pair of singles in the third and the Boilers left Fletcher aboard after a two-out walk.
The Boilers loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth, but could not push a run across. Freshman Paris Andrew drew a leadoff walk, Monchek reached on an error and the pair pulled off a double steal opening first base for senior Erika Petruzzi, who promptly filled it with a walk. The next batter lined into a double play and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Hawkeyes broke the scoreless tie with a pair of runs on three hits in the fifth. A pair of singles and a sacrifice put two in scoring position for Bradi Wall, who picked up the RBI with a single to right.
Purdue answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the stanza. A sacrifice fly by Chiodo and an RBI single by Andrew accounted for the scores. Burkhardt started the inning with a double up the left field line and went to third on a wild pitch. A walk and a steal put Varsho at second base setting the table for Chiodo's fly ball to left. Andrew then laced a single up the middle to plate Varsho from second.
The Boilermakers threatened take the lead in the sixth, but the Iowa defense held. Purdue loaded the bases on singles by Petruzzi and Rains and a fielder's choice play to Burkhardt. A fielder's choice play at the plate and a fly out kept the Boilers from scoring a go-ahead run.
Iowa took advantage of a pair of Purdue miscues for a score in the eighth. A fielder's choice, an error and a walk filled the bases with two outs. A second error allowed the Hawkeyes to score and take a 3-2 lead.
Purdue capitalized on an Iowa error for a score in the bottom of the inning. Senior Ashley Courtney led off with a double to left center. Burkhardt followed with a single. A fielder's choice play at second base pushed Courtney to third. The second baseman went for the double play and her wild throw to first allowed Courtney to come home.
The Hawkeyes pulled out the win with a run without help from a hit in the ninth. The leadoff batter was hit by a pitch and went to third after a wild pitch and a ground out. A sacrifice fly brought in the game winner.
The Boilermakers had a chance in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn't come up with a run. Andrew earned a one-out walk, but a foul out and a fielder's choice play wrapped up the game.
Purdue and Iowa will face off again at 1 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is Senior Day and the Boilers will celebrate the careers of three seniors: Ashley Courtney, Maia Monchek and Erika Petruzzi.
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