04/18/2022 Purdue, Northwestern Ryen Ross

Sophomore Ryen Ross hits the ball during the Purdue vs. Northwestern game.

A tough test on the road for Purdue would have proved to be a major upset in the college softball world, but the Boilermakers’ late game scoring fell short in their efforts to pull off a surprise victory.

The Purdue softball team (19-24, 2-9) traveled to Evanston, Illinois to take on the No. 6 Northwestern Wildcats (30-6, 11-1) for a three-game weekend series.

A double from senior catcher Kaeley Hallada sent freshman outfielder Kyndall Bailey to home plate to score Purdue’s first run in the fifth inning of the first game. A sacrifice fly from sophomore outfielder Kiara Dillon allowed junior infielder Emilee Cox to score to avoid the shutout.

Northwestern’s fifth-year second-baseman Rachel Lewis hit two home runs in the game to give her 58 in her career. This broke the all-time home run record for the Wildcats, previously 57.

The scoring efforts came too late for the Boilermakers, as they ultimately fell 14-2 to the Wildcats in five innings.

Northwestern started the second game hot, scoring 10 unanswered runs in the first four innings. Lewis hit another two home runs to further separate herself and the school record. Sophomore infielder Hannah Cady also hit a home run in the game to add onto the lead for the Wildcats.

The scoring struggles continued for Purdue as the team’s first and only run of the game came in the fourth inning. Singles hit by freshman shortstop Tyrina Jones and senior infielder Rachel Becker gave Purdue a scoring opportunity with the bases loaded. However, the Boilermakers were unable to capitalize, only scoring 1 run.

The Wildcats took the game 10-1 in five innings to add to their six-game winning streak.

It was a slow start for both teams in the third game of the series for the first three innings as the score remained 1-0 Northwestern. After being down 5-0 in the fourth inning, Becker hit a single to energize the Boilermakers’ scoring. Hallada then proceeded to hit a home run to left field to get 2 runs batted in for Purdue.

Northwestern senior infielder Maeve Nelson hit two home runs that led to three RBIs, and junior utility player Angela Zedak also hit a home run that allowed the Wildcats to “claw” right back to score 5 runs in the fourth inning.

The Wildcats won the game 10-2 in five innings and swept the series overall 3-0.

Originally published on purdueexponent.org, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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