MADISON, Wis. (Purdue Sports) – The Boilermaker softball team took an early 2-0 lead, but the Wisconsin Badgers rallied to take the game 7-3 to wrap up a weekend sweep, Purdue’s first Big Ten series loss of the season.
Wisconsin scored its seven runs on six hits and three errors, while Purdue managed its three runs on five hits and an error. Senior Tori Chiodo went 2-for-3 to lead the Boiler bats, while senior Danielle Fletcher launched her 10th home run of the season.
Relief pitcher Cassandra Darrah (18-10) struck out three in the final four and a third innings to earn the win. Sophomore Lilly Fecho went the distance for Purdue, her 25th complete game of the year, striking out one in the effort.
Senior Andie Varsho drew a walk to start the game and stole second, but the Boilers couldn’t bring her home.
The Purdue defense forced Wisconsin to strand two runners after a hit and a hit by pitch in the bottom of the inning.
Fletcher lifted the second pitch of the second inning over the left field wall to put the Boilers up 1-0.
Senior Lindsey Rains reached on a two-out fielding error in the third and promptly swiped second. Chiodo made good on the RBI opportunity with a double off the left field wall to make it 2-0.
The Badgers plated four runs on four hits in the third to go up 4-2. The team combined a leadoff triple and a single for the first score. A three-run shot by Stephanie Peace brought in the others. The home run came with runners at the corners and two outs.
Wisconsin tacked on two runs on a hit and an error in the fourth. The Badgers put two on with back to back walks to start the inning. A fly ball put runners at the corners, setting up a double steal, which scored a run. A miscue after the play at home moved the trail runner to third, from which she scored on an RBI single.
Varsho had a two-out single in the fifth, but the Boilers could not bring her home.
Purdue got one run back in the sixth on an RBI single by freshman Katy McJunkin. The hit scored junior Ashley Burkhardt, who reached on a fielder’s choice and went to second on a passed ball, and moved pinch runner Lexi Valone to third. Valone was running for Fletcher, who walked. Sophomore pinch hitter CJ Parsons drew a walk to load the bases, but a strikeout kept Purdue from adding another run.
The Badgers responded with a run on a hit and an error in the bottom of the inning. A throwing error gave Wisconsin a runner at second and a RBI single by Michelle Mueller drove in the run to make it 7-3.
Chiodo drew a two-out walk in the seventh to keep the game going, but a fielder’s choice play at second base wrapped up the game.
The Boilermakers (25-25-1, 12-8 Big Ten) return to action at 4 p.m. Friday when they kick off the regular-season ending three-game series with Minnesota. It is Break at the Park Day, and all students get in for just $1.