WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue softball team could not piece together a late-inning rally Friday afternoon in its home opener against Iowa at Bittinger Stadium, falling 4-2 to the Hawkeyes.
Purdue was outhit 13-3, but the Boilermakers pitching staff worked itself out of several jams to strand 11 runners on the afternoon.
Iowa took an early lead in the first inning on an RBI double to right center by Denali Loecker. Purdue righty Sydney Bates was able to ward off anymore damage by getting out of the bases-loaded jam.
After the Hawkeyes tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, Rylee Platusic launched the second home run of her career with a solo blast to left center that cut the gap to 3-1.
Ashley Peters scattered eight hits in her four innings out of the bullpen, forcing Iowa to leave eight runners on the bags. The Hawkeyes managed just one run off the lefty in the sixth on an RBI single to right.
Purdue trimmed the deficit back to two in the bottom half of the sixth. Rachel Becker led off with a double center field, before advancing to third on a wild pitch. The junior came home on a dropped third strike to Kiley Goff.
Kaitlyn Brannstrom started the seventh off with a single to center, and pinch runner Kiara Dillon reached scoring position on a foul out to right field. Despite bringing the game-tying run to the plate in three at-bats, the Boilermakers could not complete the comeback.
Iowa hurler Sarah Lehman went the distance for the Hawkeyes, surrendering three hits, two runs, one earned and striking out three.
Bates finished with five hits and three earned runs allowed over three innings of work.
Purdue (4-9) – 2, Iowa (8-5) - 4
Winning pitcher: Sarah Lehman (5-1)
Losing pitcher: Sydney Bates (2-3)
• Platusic extended her team-long hitting streak to four straight games.
• Cora Bassett recorded her fifth stolen base of the year. Purdue is now 9-for-9 when stealing.
• Purdue's pitching staff has not allowed a home run through 13 games.
• The Boilermakers played error free for the fifth time this season.
• Purdue played its first home game since April 28, 2019, a span of 698 days.
• Purdue is 18-7 all-time in home openers.
The Boilermakers will look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon with a Saturday doubleheader against the Hawkeyes slated for 1 p.m. Both games have been sold out.