Coming off of a series victory over North Carolina State over the weekend, Notre Dame began its six-game road trip with an in-state matchup against Purdue at Bittinger Stadium. Ultimately, the Irish (26-15, 9-6 ACC) lost to the Boilermakers (30-17, 6-8 B1G) by a score of 10-1 in five innings.
In the bottom of the first inning, Purdue got on the board first as senior third baseman Jenny Behan blasted a solo home run with two outs. Behan has been a stud for the Boilermakers this season, leading the team in average, home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage. The home run for Behan was her 11th on the season and drove in her 35th RBI of the year. In the top of the second, however, senior first baseman M.K. Bonamy hit a double and went on to score when junior catcher Madison Heide singled to right field, earning her sixth RBI of the season and evening the score for the Irish.
The tie didn’t break until the bottom of the fourth inning, when a hit-by-pitch and two Boilermaker singles in a row gave Purdue a one-run advantage. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Morgan Ryan came in to relieve freshman righty Payton Tidd, who was able to retire the side without any additional Purdue runs.
However, the Boilermakers took advantage of two Irish errors to score eight runs in the bottom of the fifth and blow open what was originally a closed contest.
Purdue quickly plated two runners with a leadoff single and consecutive doubles off the bats of freshman shortstop Rachel Becker and senior right fielder Mallory Baker. Becker was 2-for-3 in the game, and scored a run of her own, as well. As a freshman, Becker currently has the second highest batting average on the team at .353.
Purdue freshman left fielder Kasey Wilhoit improved her batting average to .348 after going 2-for-3 on the game with an RBI. Furthermore, sophomore center fielder Ryleigh Scott had a big day at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring two herself while going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Bringing in Notre Dame sophomore right-handed pitcher Alexis Holloway to replace Ryan did nothing to slow Purdue. The Boilermakers brought in six more runs to get to the 10th run of the game, with the game finishing in the fifth inning.
While the Irish trio of Tidd, Ryan and Holloway could not quiet the Boilermaker bats, Purdue senior righty Kaitlynn Moody had a stellar outing on the mound, allowing one earned run and five hits while striking out two in five innings of work.The Irish will next play an in-conference series at Virginia, with a doubleheader Friday and another game Saturday.