The University of Notre Dame softball team (26-15) fell 10-1 in five innings at Purdue (30-17) in Bittinger Stadium on Tuesday evening. The Boilermakers took advantage of two Irish errors to score eight runs in the bottom of the fifth and blow open a close contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Purdue struck first with a two-out solo home run by Jenny Behan in the bottom of the first inning. Notre Dame answered quickly in the top of the second as M.K. Bonamy doubled off the wall in left field with one out and scored when Madison Heide stepped up with a two-out single to right field. The RBI was the sixth of the season for Heide.
Both teams threatened in the third, with Katie Marino advancing to third with two outs before Melissa Rochford grounded out to end the inning for the Irish. In Purdue’s half of the inning, a walk and hit to put two runners on with one out. A diving stop from Marino in the right side hole earned the second out – and saved a run – which allowed Tidd to get out of the inning by forcing a routine fly ball to Behan.
The score remained tied until a hit by pitch and two consecutive singles by Purdue in the bottom of the fourth pushed the home team to a one-run lead. Tidd left the game in favor of Morgan Ryan who delivered exactly what the Irish needed. A ground ball to shortstop allowed the lead runner to get cut down at third, then a ground ball right back to Ryan provided a one-six-three double play to end the inning with no further damage.
Purdue increased its lead in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff single and back-to-back doubles to drive in two runs.
Alexis Holloway entered in relief but could not stop the home team momentum. The Boilers strung together six more runs off a two-RBI double and a bases clearing dropped fly ball in centerfield. A final throwing error allowed the 10th run of the game to score and end the contest in five innings.
The Irish are off to Virginia this weekend for an Atlantic Coast Conference series with a doubleheader against the Cavaliers on Friday, April 19, and a single game on Saturday, April 20.