BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — A fifth-inning two-out, two-run double by senior Mallory Baker lifted the No.11 Boilermakers past sixth seeded Rutgers 4-3 in a Big Ten Tournament contest that went into the early hours of Friday morning at Indiana's Andy Mohr Field.
The originally-scheduled 7 p.m. game was delayed twice by inclement weather in Bloomington, which forced the nightcap to begin at the latest time allowed by Big Ten rules – 10:59 p.m.
Despite the delayed start, the Boilermakers opened the game with a bang, collecting two runs on three hits. Freshman Rachel Becker ignited the Purdue run with a leadoff double, before she showed off her speed with a run home on a Baker single. A single by senior Jenny Behan and a wild pitch made way for Purdue's second run, giving the Boilermakers a 2-0 lead in the opening frame.
Purdue maintained its two-point lead until the bottom of the third when Rutgers utilized four singles to bring around three runs and take control of the game at 3-2.
Staying persistent, the Boilermakers retook the lead in the top of the fifth, when Purdue rallied for two runs on three hits. The inning was highlighted by a two-out, two-run double by Baker.
With Purdue leading 4-3, the Boilermaker defense kept the Rutgers offense hitless in the sixth and the seventh to secure the victory.
Purdue's defense was paced by senior Kaitlynn Moody. Pitching 4.1 innings of relief, the veteran allowed only one hit, while striking out two to earn her fourth save of the season. Redshirt sophomore Sydney Bates (12-8) claimed win and the start, allowing three runs in 2.2 innings of work.
At the plate, Becker, Baker and freshman Riley Platusic paced the Boilermakers with two hits apiece, while Baker topped the game with three RBI.
The win snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Boilermakers and advanced Purdue to the Big Ten Tournament's quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.
Purdue returns to action at 7p.m. Friday against No. 3 seed Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The game will air live on BTN and BTN2GO.com.