Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball cruises to doubleheader sweep against Purdue

<p>Freshman pitcher Heather Johnson throws a pitch against Western Illinois on March 5, 2022. Indiana went 2-0 in its doubleheader against Purdue on Tuesday.</p>

Freshman pitcher Heather Johnson throws a pitch against Western Illinois on March 5, 2022. Indiana went 2-0 in its doubleheader against Purdue on Tuesday.

Indiana softball completed a sweep in a doubleheader against in-state rival Purdue on Tuesday night. The pair of wins improve the Hoosiers’ record to 25-17 overall and 8-9 in Big Ten play.

Indiana slowly but surely built up a convincing lead in the first game. Junior utility player Cora Bassett drove in the first run of the game in the second inning, hitting a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.

Senior designated hitter Brittany Ford hit a RBI sacrifice fly ball to score another run in the third inning, stretching Indiana’s lead to 2-0. The Hoosiers added two more runs in the fourth inning off a fielder’s choice from freshman outfielder Taylor Minnick, and Bassett stole home plate afterward.

Indiana freshman pitcher Heather Johnson threw four scoreless innings until Purdue finally got on the board with an RBI single from freshman Jade Moy. The Boilermakers scored another two runs in the sixth inning to cut their deficit to 4-3.

The Hoosiers responded by leading off the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs from senior infielder Juvia Davis and sophomore infielder Brooke Benson, stretching their lead back to three runs. Senior pitcher Natalie Foor came in to relieve Johnson in the sixth inning and earned the save, as Indiana held on to win the first game 6-3.

Purdue captured the lead right away in the second game. Senior infielder Rachel Becker hit a leadoff home run against Foor to open the game.

Indiana struck back in the second inning, taking a 2-1 lead with an RBI single by sophomore catcher Lindsey Warick and RBI double by Benson. 

After surrendering the leadoff homer, Foor allowed just three more hits and struck out a career-high nine Boilermakers in 5.2 innings. 

Sophomore outfielder Aaliyah Andrews and Warick hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, the second time Indiana went back-to-back in the doubleheader. The Hoosiers entered the sixth inning in control with a 4-1 lead.

Purdue spoiled Foor’s strikeout party in the sixth inning. Freshman catcher Ryen Ross hit a three-run blast to tie the game at 4-4, putting pressure on Indiana’s offense.

The Hoosiers responded by loading the bases and eventually bringing home all three baserunners, retaking a three-run lead. Foor and Johnson reversed roles from the first game, as Johnson came in to relieve Foor and shut Purdue down to earn a 7-4 win.

“We played a full day of softball, anytime you can get a doubleheader win it’s pretty exciting, especially against Purdue,” Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton said. “We hit all three phases of the game for maybe the first time all year.”

Bassett, a transfer from Purdue, headed into the doubleheader looking to break Indiana’s single-season doubles record, set by then-senior Gabbi Jenkins in 2021. Purdue wanted no part of her efficiency at the plate, walking Bassett five times, including three times intentionally. 

Indiana did manage to break a record regardless. By hitting two home runs in each game, the Hoosiers reached 53 home runs on the season. This mark set a program record, breaking the previous mark of 51 home runs reached in the 2015 season.

Next up for Indiana is a three-game series against Illinois this weekend. The series will mark the Hoosiers’ final games at Andy Mohr Field this season.

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