NEWPORT, Ky. – After dropping the first game to Cincinnati Christian, 9-7, the Purdue University Northwest softball team answered back with a 12-3 victory to cap off a series split with the Eagles Sunday afternoon.
The Pride (2-2) struck fire at the plate in the fourth and fifth innings of Game 2, to propel them over the Eagles (3-2), scoring 9 of its 12 runs in the final two innings.
Sophomore Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield had a stellar performance at the plate, going 4-for-7 on the day, including a 3-for-3 performance in Game 2 where she hit her first home run of the season.
Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bishop McNamara) went 3-for-6 at the plate on the day with two runs scored while Olivia Sardella (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) recorded three hits and scored three runs.
Game 2: PNW 12, Cincinnati Christian 3 (5 innings)
Both teams were even at three runs a piece after three innings of play, but the bats came alive along with some aggressive base running in the top half of the fourth inning, to give the Pride a 7-3 advantage.
Senior Caroline Brown (Minooka, Ill./Minooka Community) led off a five-fun fifth inning which helped propel the Prides offense.
Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster) and Kyleigh Payne would drive in the final two runs of the inning, to push the Black and Gold ahead of the Eagles, 12-3.
Junior Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) pitched a complete game for the Pride, recording six strikeouts in five innings of work.
Game 1: Cincinnati Christian 9, PNW 7
The Eagles jumped ahead early in the first game, scoring three runs in the first frame to take a 3-0 advantage.
Emily Cole (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way North) scored the Pride’s first run in the third inning, but Cincinnati Christian would answer back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning and take a 7-1 lead.
The Pride kept on battling for the rest of the game, cutting in to their deficit each inning, but the Eagles would hold off a comeback effort from the Black and Gold and take the 9-7 victory.
The Black and Gold return to play on Saturday, Mar. 5, when they travel to Midway, Ky. For a doubleheader with Midway University starting at 1 p.m. (CT).