WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Freshman Kasey Wilhoit drove in the game-winning run on an RBI double in the seventh inning as the Purdue softball team opened Big Ten play with a 3-2 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes at Bittinger Stadium. The Boilermakers (21-9, 1-0 Big Ten) have won their last four games against Iowa, marking Purdue’s longest win streak versus the Hawkeyes in program history.-
The conference victory gives Purdue its 11th victorious home opener in the last 13 seasons and the 21st overall.
The Hawkeyes (14-10, 0-1 Big Ten) struck first as senior Mallory Kilian got on board with a single, followed by junior DoniRae Mayhew, who launched a home run over the left field fence to give Iowa a 2-0 lead.
The Boilermakers answered with runs in the bottom of the second and third innings to tie the game 2-2. Purdue’s first run of the game came courtesy of an RBI single from junior Alexa Binckes, while senior Lexi Huffman drove in the second run with an RBI infield single.
A pitching duel between Purdue’s Kaitlynn Moody and Iowa’s Allison Doocy kept the tie alive for the next three and a half innings, before the Boilermakers found the go-ahead in the seventh frame.
Leading off for Purdue in the bottom of the seventh, senior Jenny Behan dished out a single up the middle, before Wilhoit sent the a game-winning double down the left field line to take game one of the series.
The Boilermakers totaled ten hits with no errors, while the Hawkeyes delivered four hits with one error. Behan led Purdue with two hits and two runs, while Binckes, Huffman and Wilhoit accounted for Purdue’s three RBI in the contest.
In the circle, Moody (6-4) gave up just two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out one in a complete game effort.
Purdue concludes its three-game conference series with the Hawkeyes with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 8 at Bittinger Stadium. The first game of the day is slated to start at 2 p.m. ET.