Sophomore Laura Winter

Irish Hang On For 8-6 Victory At Purdue

April 5, 2012

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue had its eight-game winning streak snapped as Notre Dame improved its winning streak to eight games with an 8-6 non-conference softball win Thursday at the Varsity Softball Complex. Each team entered the contest having won eight of its last 10 and Purdue was a perfect 7-0 at home before Dani Miller led the Irish with a 3-for-3 showing at the dish with a solo home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

The Irish have now posted a winning streak of at least eight games in each of the last 13 seasons.

Notre Dame (19-10) tallied 12 hits, reaching double-digits in that department for the fourth time in its last six outings. Eight of nine Irish batters who made a plate appearance recorded at least one hit.

Alexa Maldonado and Emilee Koerner each had two hits with Maldonado adding a pair of RBI.

The Irish were blanked in the first but went on to score at least one run in each of the next six frames.

Purdue (23-10) put the Irish in a hole on Lindsey Rains’ two-run homer in the first frame. Rains’ blast brought home Andie Varsho, who shot a one-out single to center which bounced by Maldonado for the first of three Irish errors in the game.

Notre Dame countered in the second when Miller drew a walk and Koerner singled to deep left. Miller and Koerner advanced a bag on an illegal pitch by Lexy Moore (15-3) with Miller advancing home on Katey Haus’ liner to center. Rains nearly made a clean play on the ball in center but bobbled the exchange from the fielding hand to the glove.

Moore’s second illegal pitch scored Koerner from third to tie the game at 2-2.

Molly Garst tripled home Purdue’s third run of the game in the second with two away, an unearned tally by Tori Chido. Chido’s chopper back to Laura Winter (12-6) in the circle was botched to extend the frame long enough for Garst to do the deed.

It was an interesting outing for Winter, who was credited with the win after allowing five runs – three earned – with five strikeouts and one walk.

Winter pitched the first four frames and the Irish carded a 6-3 lead heading into the fifth. The first two Boilermaker batters of that inning reached base which prompted Brittany O’Donnell to the rubber. O’Donnell tossed the next 2.2 innings and gave up one earned run on three hits. O’Donnell also struck out five, two of which came in the bottom of the seventh, before giving way for Winter with two down in the final half inning.

With the winning run at the plate with two runners on board, Winter sent Erika Petruzzi back to the dugout after whiffing at a third straight strike to end the contest.

Miller lofted a two-out base hit into center to score Maldonado in the top of the third to knot things at 3-3. Maldonado singled to begin the third, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Thornton and trotted to third on a foul flyout by Buntin down the rightfield line.

Chloe Saganowich doubled off the top of the wall in left-center with one out in the fourth after Haus started the stanza with a walk. Jenna Simon’s slap to third was tossed home to snag Haus though Maldonado soon dropped a two-RBI double into left to cement a 5-3 lead for the Irish.

Miller left no doubt when she cashed in Notre Dame’s sixth run, a monster shot to center in the top of the fifth.

The book appeared to close on Winter in the bottom of the fifth after the first two Boilermakers reached base. Andie Varsho singled and Rains’ shot to left was dropped by Koerner. O’Donnell stepped in and allowed a two-RBI single to center as Purdue cut into the Irish lead, 6-5.

Simon doubled home Lauren Stuhr in the sixth as the Irish claimed a 7-5 lead. Stuhr singled during her second official at-bat of the game.

Lauren Grant brought the Boilermakers within one run with a pinch-hit home run down the rightfield line in the sixth.

Koerner tacked on an insurance run in the seventh, scoring pinch-runner Monica Torres from first with a double to right-center. Torres had stepped in for Miller after the slugger doubled to left for her third hit on the day.

Danielle Fletcher went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI for Purdue and Moore surrendered eight earned runs from the circle.