WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The No. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers evened the weekend series with the Boilermaker softball team at one apiece with a 9-1 win on Saturday.
The Gophers managed their nine runs on 11 hits and an error, while allowing Purdue a run on five hits and three errors. Seniors Tori Chiodo and Danielle Fletcher, juniors Ashley Burkhardt and Alyssa Koorsen and sophomore Paris Andrew accounted for the Boilermaker hits.
Sara Moulton (23-6) struck out six in the win for Minnesota. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (20-14) struck out one in three innings in the loss before exiting in favor of junior Lexy Moore , who issued two Ks in the final two innings.
Minnesota struck first, plating a run on a hit in the opening stanza. A two-out hit by pitch gave the Gophers a base runner and a double plated the run.
The Boilermakers answered with a run on two hits and two errors in the bottom of the first. Chiodo sent a one-out single through the left side. Burkhardt reached on a fielder’s choice, which saw Chiodo safe at second on an error by the second baseman. Fletcher followed with a single to center field. Chiodo rounded third and was awarded home as the throw in from the outfield wound up in the Boilermaker dugout. A strikeout and fly out left two stranded in scoring position.
The Gophers made good on a two-out free pass in the second, bringing in the runner with a double, to go ahead 2-1.
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Andrew reached on an error in the second, but the Boilermakers could not bring her home.
Burkhardt got a one-out single in the third inning and stole second base, but Purdue could not cash in on the RBI chance.
Minnesota put up seven runs on seven hits and an error in the fourth to vault ahead 9-1. Two singles and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases to start the stanza. A Tyler Walker triple drove in all three runners. An Erika Smythe double scored Walker. Moore took over in the circle and an error put runners at the corners for Taylor LeMay, who launched a three-run home run. The Gophers got two more hits in the inning, but could not add to the 9-1 lead.
Andrew and Koorsen tallied back-to-back two-out singles in the fourth, but a strikeout stranded the pair.
The Boilermakers went down in order on two ground outs and a strikeout to end the game.
The Boilermakers (26-26-1, 13-9 Big Ten) and Gophers (37-9, 15-6 Big Ten) meet one final time in a noon Sunday contest to decide the series and wrap up the regular season. It is Senior Day and Purdue will be honoring its seniors in a pregame ceremony beginning at 11:45 a.m.