Badger softball splits with Boilermakers

Purdue wins game two in last at-bat

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In what has become a standard result this season, Wisconsin, for the fifth straight time, split a Big Ten series. This time, Wisconsin (25-21 overall, 5-7 Big Ten) defeated Purdue 4-2 in the game one but fell 3-2 in game two Sunday at Goodman Diamond in Madison.


The series boiled down to the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game, when Purdue sophomore left fielder Staci Falzon's RBI double to left-center brought junior centerfielder Katie Absher home for the game-winner.


Purdue (25-19, 2-8) led off the scoring in the bottom of the third, putting two runs on the board. Absher had an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore first baseman Becky Stone. Senior right fielder Angela Knight had an infield single and Absher moved to third before coming home on a single from sophomore shortstop Tricia Lilley. Knight added another run on freshman catcher Erika Peterson's bloop single.


Wisconsin put itself within one in the fourth, as freshman centerfielder Sam Polito led off with a walk and advanced to third when freshman third baseman Athena Vasquez reached on an errant throw. Junior catcher Boo Gillette brought Polito home on a sacrifice fly and Purdue ended the inning on the same play by stopping Vasquez at third.


Gillette picked up her fourth home run of the season at the top of the seventh, knotting the game at two apiece before Purdue won the game on Absher's run.


At the pitcher's mound, sophomore Diana LaRiva (12-11) gave Wisconsin only two hits while striking out six. Badger freshman Eden Brock (10-9) pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up ten hits and three runs while striking out three.


Wisconsin won the first game 4-2 with help from junior shortstop Kris Zacher, who had a double, triple and RBI for Wisconsin.


Wisconsin scored early, picking up two runs in the bottom of the first. Vasquez advanced to first on a fielding error and then to second after Zacher hit a double to center field. She moved to third when Purdue walked Gillette and she and Zacher both came home on a single from senior left fielder Diana Consolmagno.


Wisconsin grabbed another run in the second inning when sophomore first baseman Kaitlin Reiss singled and went to second on a Vasquez single. Zacher was walked and Reiss moved to third before coming home on a hit from Gillette.  The Badgers scored again in the fourth after Vasquez reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Zacher's triple.


Purdue scored both its runs in the sixth on RBIs from freshman pinch hitter Catherine Zaworski and junior third baseman Shelli Messer.


Junior Katie Layne (12-9) pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and two runs while walking three, all in the sixth inning. Sophomore pitcher Sara Gonzales faced only Messer before Wisconsin brought in freshman Eden Brock, who finished the game.


Boilermaker freshman pitcher Brooke Baker (13-8) struck out three and allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings of work.

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