COLUMBUS, Ohio (Purdue Sports) – The Boilermaker bats built a 5-0 lead that held up down the stretch in a 5-4 win over Ohio State on Sunday to give Purdue its fourth straight Big Ten series victory.
Purdue scored its five runs on seven hits and an error, including two hit days by senior Tori Chiodo, junior Ashley Burkhardt and sophomore Paris Andrew.
Sophomore Lilly Fecho (16-10) struck out seven in the complete-game victory for Purdue. Olivia O’Reilly (9-6) struck out two in five and a third innings of work. She threw the first four and two thirds and exited in favor of Shelby Hursh, but reentered to pitch the seventh.
Chiodo put the Boilers on the board with a two-run homer in the opening stanza. The long ball to right center plated senior Lindsey Rains, who reached with a one-out walk. Purdue put another runner in scoring position as Burkhardt bounced a double off the left field wall. She went to third on a caught deep foul ball, but couldn’t make it home in the inning.
Sophomore Mary Gooding drew a walk to start the second and was sacrificed to second, but a strikeout and ground ball to the pitcher kept Purdue from adding to its 2-0 lead.
The Buckeyes wasted singles in the second, third and fourth innings.
The Boilers added three more runs on three hits in the fifth. Andrew bounced a double off the center field wall to start the stanza, went to third on a sacrifice and came home on an RBI grounder by senior Andie Varsho. Rains drew a two-out walk and Chiodo followed with a double off the top of the left field wall. Burkhardt plated both with a double to left center, making it 5-0 Boilers.
Ohio State paired up a single and a double for a run in the fifth to end the shutout bid. The Buckeyes stranded a runner at third after a ground out and a
Purdue put two on in the sixth, but a close play at the plate kept them off the scoreboard. Freshman Katy McJunkin walked and went to second on a single by Andrew. Varsho sent a two-out single up the middle, but McJunkin was called out at home trying to score on the play.
The Buckeyes pulled within one with three runs on three hits and an error in the bottom of the inning. A pair of singles and an error put runners at the corners with nobody out. A ground ball to second base plated the lead runner. A pinch hit home run by Leesa Gresham cut the margin to 5-4 Boilers.
Rains drew her third walk of the game to start the seventh. Burkhardt joined her on base on an error by the shortstop that moved both into scoring position with one out. OSU turned a double play to end the threat.
A Caitlin Conrad triple in the seventh gave OSU hope, but the Boilers forced a ground out and a fly ball to strand her and seal the win.
Purdue (22-20-1, 9-3 Big Ten) return to action at 4 p.m. Friday when the team faces off with Illinois at the Boilermaker Softball Complex. It is Strike Out Cancer Day, so fans are encourage to wear pink and bring money to donate to the American Cancer Society.