WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue softball team proved itself on Friday, as the Boilermakers fired up the bats in the seventh inning to recover from a five-run deficit with six runs to defeat Penn State 8-7 at Bittinger Stadium.
With Penn State leading 7-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Nittany Lions would make a pitching change after Purdue (26-13, 3-4 Big Ten) loaded the bases on three consecutive singles from freshman Kasey Wilhoit, junior Alexa Binckes and senior Kaitlynn Moody.
Freshman Rachel Becker and senior Mallory Baker capitalized with an RBI single to left field and a sacrifice bunt, respectively. Senior Lexi Huffman followed with a two-RBI double to bring Purdue within one at 7-6, before senior Jenny Behan outpaced a throw to home to tie the game 7-7.
With two outs, Purdue secured the conference victory on an RBI single from freshman Kasey Wilhoit.
Earlier, Penn State opened the scoring with an RBI triple down the right field line, while claiming a second run on a wild pitch.
Purdue battled back with a home run over the left center wall from Behan in the bottom of the frame. The Boilermakers would go on to tie the game with a home run over the right field wall from junior Madison Douglass in the bottom of the second.
The Nittany Lions broke the tie with a grand slam from Toni Polk, jumping out to a 6-2 lead in the top of the fourth. Penn State added to its advantage with a run in the fifth.
The visiting squad maintained its edge until the Boilermaker rally in the bottom of the seventh.
The win is the first over the Nittany Lions in the De Oliveira-era and the first since 2014, when Purdue swept Penn State in a Big Ten Series at University Park.
Overall, Purdue outhit Penn State, 10-9, with neither team recording an error. The Boilermakers were guided by Becker and Wilhoit as they both collected two hits apiece.
In the circle, Purdue saw effort by redshirt sophomore Sydney Bates, senior Maddie Damon, freshman Alex Echazarreta and senior Kaitlynn Moody. Pitching the final 2.2 innings of the game, Moody (8-5) earned the win after not relinquishing a single hit or run to the Nittany Lions.
The Boilermakers and the Nittany Lions will be back in action Saturday for a doubleheader . The first game of the day is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET with the series finale following at 5 p.m.