Purdue softball splits twin bill with No. 4 Michigan

Purdue softball vs Michigan

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The Boilermaker softball team split its Wednesday doubleheader with No. 4 Michigan, taking Game 1 3-2 and falling 11-0 in the night cap. The Game 1 win matches a Feb. 7, 2009, victory over No. 4 UCLA for the highest ranked foe ever beaten by a Boilermaker side, and also marks Purdue’s first win over Michigan since Feb. 9, 2006.

Freshman Katy McJunkin led the Purdue bats with a 3-for-5 effort, including two hits in Game 1. Junior Ashley Burkardt also had a pair of hits in Game 1, including the game-winning RBI single in the third inning. Five Boilermakers had a hit in Game 2.

Sophomore Lilly Fecho (19-11) started both contests and earned the complete-game win in Game 1 and took the loss after throwing an inning and a third in Game 2. Juniors Alex Whittemore and Lexy Moore and senior Lauren Grant also saw action in the night cap.

The Boilermakers (25-22-1, 12-4 Big Ten) return to action at 5 p.m. Friday, when they take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, live on the Big Ten Network.

Purdue 3, Michigan 2

The Boilermakers scored two quick runs in the first inning and tacked on another in the third, then held off the Wolverines for the historic 3-2 win.

Purdue scored its three runs on eight hits, while Michigan managed its two runs on seven hits and an error. Freshman Katy McJunkin and junior Ashley Burkhardt each had two hits to lead the Boilermaker charge.

In the circle, sophomore Lilly Fecho struck out four batters and forced Michigan to strand 10 runners. Haylie Wagner went three full innings in the loss for the Wolverines, striking out four, while Sara Driesenga issued two Ks in the last three innings.

After forcing Michigan to strand a runner in scoring position in the first, the Boilermakers jumped on the scoreboard with a trio of two-out hits in the bottom of the inning. A pair of singles by senior Tori Chiodo and Burkhardt set the table for a two-run single by senior Danielle Fletcher that landed just inside the right field line.

Michigan capitalized on a leadoff walk in the second, adding two hits to plate the run. Sierra Larwrence drew the free pass and stole second. She went to third on a single by Lauren Sweet and scored on a single to right field by Lindsay Motemarano. A sac bunt put two in scoring position, but the Boilermaker defense held with a ground ball to third base to keep the lead intact.

The Boilers got the run back in the bottom of the third, pairing two hits and a sacrifice. Senior Andie Varsho led off with a single and went to second on the sac bunt by senior Lindsey Rains. A double up the right field line by Burkhardt made it 3-1.

Purdue threatened again in the fourth, but could not add to its lead. McJunkin led off with a single and was joined by senior Maia Monchek, who was hit by a pitch. A fielder’s choice play got McJunkin at third, but put sophomore Mary Gooding on base. A grounder to the second baseman left two aboard.

Fecho and the defense got out of a bases loaded jam unscathed in the fifth. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases with two outs, but Monchek made a diving grab in left field to prevent any damage.

Michigan cut the lead to one with a home run by Lauren Sweet with two outs in the sixth.

The Boilermakers loaded the bases in the sixth, but were held off the scoreboard. McJunkin started the inning with a single. Monchek followed with an infield single. A fielder’s choice at third base brought the first out of the inning. After forcing a ground out, Michigan intentionally walked Varsho to fill the bases. A caught foul ball capped the inning and brought the Wolverines to the plate one last time.

The Wolverines threatened in the seventh, loading the bases on a fielding error, a single and a two-out walk. Varsho sealed the win for the Boilermakers, reeling in a foul ball in right field.

Michigan 11, Purdue 0

The Wolverines racked up 11 runs on nine hits and had help from four Boilermaker miscues in the Game 2 run rule win. Purdue scattered five hits in the game, but could not manage a run.

Megan Betsa (12-3) struck out four Boilers in the complete game victory for Michigan, while sophomore Lilly Fecho (19-11) was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs, three of which were earned, in the opening inning and a third. Junior Alex Whittemore struck out two in three innings of relief work. Junior Lexy Moore took over in the fifth inning and added another strikeout. Senior Lauren Grant faced the final two batters of the contest.

Michigan scored two runs in the first, three in the second, one each in the third and fifth and four in the sixth.

A two-run home run by Sierra Romero in the first inning got things started.

The Wolverines tacked on three more runs on a hit and two errors in the second. Two walks and a misplay on a fielder’s choice brought in the first two. An error on a stolen base attempt and a single scored the third.

A single, a steal and ground out in the third made it 6-0.

The Boilermakers put together a two-out rally in the third, filling the bases on a pair of bunt singles by seniors Andie Varsho and Lindsey Rains and a walk to senior Tori Chiodo, but a strikeout kept Purdue from snapping the shutout.

Purdue had another scoring opportunity in the fourth after a pair of hits by freshman Katy McJunkin and pinch hitter Alyssa Koorsen, but could not cash in. McJunkin posted a one-out single, but was out on a fielder’s choice play that put senior Maia Monchek on. Monchek went to second on Koorsen’s single through the left side, but a strikeout cut the rally short.

Michigan paired two doubles for a fifth-inning score.

Three hits and a pair of Boilermaker errors allowed four Wolverine runs in the sixth.

Down to its final three outs and trailing 11-0, the Boilermakers managed to put two runners in scoring position, but the Wolverine defense held. McJunkin drew a one-out walk and Monchek followed with a single. A ground out moved the pair into scoring position, but a strikeout ended the game.

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