IU softball went 3-1 against Purdue this weekend, improving to 11-13 this season in the Crimson and Gold series at Bittinger Stadium in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The Hoosiers started the series by splitting a double-header on Friday. IU senior pitcher Emily Goodin had a dominant performance during the first game, striking out eight Purdue batters.
The offense started to light up during the top of the fourth inning, when senior first baseman Annika Baez hit an RBI single to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. Then, senior second baseman Grayson Radcliffe hit a solo home run and freshman catcher Grace Lorsung hit a two-run RBI to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Despite an RBI single from Purdue freshman right fielder Kaitlyn Brannstrom during the bottom of the seventh inning, Goodin was able to shut down the Purdue offense quickly to take game one 4-1.
The second game was mostly dominated by Purdue’s offense. However, the Hoosiers had a rally during the top of the seventh inning, keeping the game close.
Despite losing the game 4-3, IU softball history was made in the game. Senior left fielder Gabbi Jenkins broke the program’s career bases stolen record on Friday during the top of the seventh with her 91st steal. This surpasses the former record held by IU third base alumna Aimee Lonigro, who had 90 from 1994-1997. Jenkins also had six stolen bases March 13, the most for a Hoosier this season.
“I’ve had the privilege of dealing with young people for 20 plus years, and you won’t find a more unique and special 18-22 year old who just is so passionate about relationships and the sport,” head coach Shonda Stanton said about Jenkins.
The third game was at 10 a.m. Saturday, but IU woke up and controlled the game both offensively and defensively. Emily Goodin had another strong pitching performance, striking out five batters.
Lorsung hit an RBI single during the top of the first inning. Then, Juvia Davis hit a two-run RBI double. Finally, freshman pitcher Macy Montgomery scored on a pass ball. The Hoosiers cruised past Purdue 4-0 to take a 2-1 series lead.
The Hoosiers struck first in the last game Sunday with an RBI from Lorsung during the top of the second. Then senior center fielder Taylor Lambert hit an RBI during the top of the third. Purdue had a five-run rally during the bottom of the third, but IU responded with an RBI triple from freshman shortstop Brooke Benson and an RBI single from Lorsung.
“It was awesome to see how we fought, how we battled, when we clutched up and how the team didn't make moments bigger than what it was,” Stanton continued.
IU heads back to Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington where it will take on Ohio State next weekend.