HAMMOND, Ind. — The Purdue University Northwest softball team rebounded from a tough Game 1 loss with a dominate nightcap win in Tuesday’s league split with Trinity International at Dowling Park’s Fifth Third Bank Field.
The Pride (17-16-1, 7-5 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) fell in eight innings in Game 1, 7-6, before topping the Trojans (11-17, 7-7) in Game 2, 6-0.
Senior Caroline Brown (Minooka, Ill./Minooka Community) earned the win in the nightcap, throwing her second shut out of the year in the two-hit, seven-inning effort, and PNW’s Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) homered twice and totaled five RBI across the two games to lead the Pride.
PNW returns to action Friday, April 14, when they travel to Whiting, Ind., to take on Calumet St. Joseph in a pair starting at 1 p.m. CT.
GAME 2: PNW 6, TIU 0
Purdue Northwest didn’t leave the nightcap to chance, as the Pride netted runs in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings en route to Caroline Brown’s second shutout of the season.
Brown (8-6) picked up her eighth win of the year in the seven-inning outing, allowing just two hits, striking out one and walking one while not allowing an extra-base hit.
PNW’s offense did the rest, as Holly Pagan connected on her second home run of the day — and seventh of the year — in the third to make it 3-0 PNW. Allyson Leach’s (Demotte, Ind./North Newton) bunt single plated the game’s first run in the second, scoring Samantha Oppenhuis (Munster, Ind./Illiana Christian), who went a perfect 2-for-2 on the day and scored twice.
Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bishop McNamara) bunted in another run in the fourth and Pagan struck again with an RBI double to left center to push the Pride’s lead to 5-0 before Leach added the game’s final score with a RBI double to plate Oppenhuis.
Pagan finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI, a home run and a double; Oppenhuis was 2-for-2 and Leach was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Pride offense.
GAME 1: TIU 7, PNW 6 (8 innings)
Despite home runs from Kyleigh Payne and Holly Pagan and a 10-hit effort for PNW, Trinity International made a late run to send the game into extra innings where the Trojans would eventually win in the eighth, 7-6.
PNW led by as many as four on two separate occasions, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the third after Payne blasted her ninth long ball of the year in the first inning on a two-run shot and Allyson Leach (double) added RBIs in both the first and third inning.
The Trojans would strike back with two runs in the fourth on a Tenley Bozzi two-RBI double to make it 4-2 PNW before junior Holly Pagan joined the home run party with a two-run shot over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the inning, pushing the lead back to four, 6-2.
But TIU would continue to chip away, scoring a run in the fifth and then three more in the sixth to tie it at 6-all, when the Trojans loaded the bases with one out and capitalized on a PNW error.
After PNW failed to score with runners in scoring position in the seventh, TIU used an Alyssa Doomis bloop single in the eighth to score the eventual game winner.
Haley Loden (Crown Point, Ind./Lake Central) (double), Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster) (two doubles), and Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield) each tallied two hits in the game while Payne and Pagan each had two RBIs to go along with their respective home runs.
Caroline Brown took the loss in the circle despite not allowing an earned run in 2 and 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, striking out two and walking none.