WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Purdue softball team concluded its weekend with a doubleheader split against Penn State on Saturday afternoon at Bittinger Stadium. The Boilermakers delivered a 9-1 five-inning victory in the first game of the day, before dropping a 7-4 decision in the series finale.
Senior Lexi Huffman led the Boilermakers (27-14, 4-5 Big Ten) with five RBI and three hits, including a home run and a double, while adding two runs. Freshman Kasey Wilhoit also chipped in three hits on the day and seniors Kaitlynn Moody and Mallory Baker added two RBI each.
Game 1 | Purdue 9, Penn State 1
After Penn State (19-20, 3-6 Big Ten) struck first with a run in the top of the first on a one-out RBI single, the Boilermakers stormed back with nine unanswered runs.
The Boilermakers broke things open with an eight-run second frame with Wilhoit doubling in the tying run, before Moody delivered a two-run single to left center, followed by a walk-off run from Baker with bases loaded. Purdue capitalized on a PSU fielding error to push across its fifth run of the game, while Huffman delivered three more on a double to right center.
Leading 8-1, Purdue ended the game early with an RBI sacrifice fly from sophomore Rachel Krzysko to right field.
Moody (9-5) earned the win in her 22nd appearance in the circle this season, allowing just one run on four hits and zero walks, while striking out seven in the five innings of work.
The Boilermakers totaled seven hits, including two doubles. Huffman and Wilhoit paced Purdue's effort at the plate with two hits apiece.
Game 2 | Penn State 7, Purdue 4
Once again Penn State struck first, this time with an RBI single to left center in the opening frame. However, the Nittany Lions' lead was short lived as Huffman launched a two-run long ball over the center field wall in the bottom of the inning.
An RBI single up the middle from Baker in the bottom of the second pushed Purdue to a 3-1 edge, before Penn State responded with six runs through the next three innings.
Trailing 7-3, the Boilermakers threatened in the top of the seventh with runners in scoring position and an RBI sac fly from senior Jenny Behan to cut the deficit to three, but that would be it for Purdue.
Redshirt sophomore Sydney Bates (10-6) took the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Moody saw 1.2 innings of relief action, allowing four runs on six hits, while freshman Alex Echazarreta finished off the game by allowing just two hits in three innings of work.
As a team, the Boilermakers registered only six hits to Penn State's 13. Freshman Rachel Becker contributed a team-best two hits in the setback.
Purdue returns to the field with a non-conference doubleheader at Indiana on Wednesday. The first game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. ET start, with second game following at 7 p.m. Both games will be televised on the Big Ten Network.