TUCSON, Ariz. – The Purdue University Northwest softball team defeated Dickinson State, 10-8 in today’s opening game, before using a ninth-inning comeback performance to defeat Huntington University, 8-7.
Game 1: PNW 10, Dickinson State 8
Senior Samantha Oppenhuis (Munster, Ind./Illiana Christian) started things off for the pride, recording an RBI-single, which plated Olivia Sardella (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) to put the Pride up 1-0.
The Pride took advantage of some Blue Hawk miscues in the field, after a string of RBI-singles from Oppenhuis and Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield) helped propel the Black and Gold to a 5-0 advantage.
DSU would put up three runs in the top half of the third inning, but the Pride would battle back to spot a 5-run third inning to help jump out to a 10-3 lead.
Dickinson State would try and mount a comeback effort in the top of the sixth frame, but senior pitcher Audrey Headley (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) would enter the game late and hold off the Blue Hawks to give the Pride a 10-8 victory.
Senior pitcher Leslie Ford (Garden City, Kan./Garden City) earned the win for the Black and Gold in the circle, pitching five innings and striking out a pair of batters.
Game 2: PNW 8, Huntington 7 (9-innings)
In a seesaw battle with the Foresters, the Pride struck first after Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster) scored on an RBI-single from Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bishop McNamara) to put PNW ahead 1-0.
Huntington would answer back with a two-run second frame to take a 2-1 lead, but the Pride would come back with a pair of home runs thanks to Sardella and Payne to give the Pride a 4-2 advantage.
The Foresters would score one run in the fourth inning, followed by a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Pride just three outs left and trailing 5-4.
Senior Allyson Leach (Demotte, Ind./North Newton) would score the game-tying run in the top of the seventh inning, which eventually sent the game in to extra innings.
Huntington would start off extra innings with one run, but Hannah Lopez (Granada Hills, Calif./Bishop Alemany) would connect on a clutch RBI-triple which plated Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) to even the score back up at 6-6.
After the Foresters scored another run in the top of the ninth, PNW would answer back after Kotzo brought in Leach to tie the game at 7-7.
Pagan would cap off the comeback effort for the Pride by knocking in Kotzo for the game winning run to give the Pride the 8-7 victory.
The Black and Gold return home for a doubleheader against NCAA Div. 2 member Grand Valley State at Fifth Third Bank Field at Dowling Park starting at 1 p.m. (CT).