The Purdue softball team split a doubleheader with Iowa University to claim their first home series win of the season on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (22-10, 2-1 Big Ten) dropped the first game of the day 2-1, then surged back to claim a 4-2 win over the Hawkeyes (15-11, 1-2 Big Ten). Senior third baseman Jenny Behan led the team with two runs and an RBI on the day.
The first game of the day was a pitcher's duel. Starting pitchers Allison Doocy and Purdue sophomore Sydney Bates combined for eight strikeouts, 10 hits and two walks.
After Purdue and Iowa each scored a run in the first inning, the teams traded 1-2-3 innings until the top of the seventh. After Iowa shortstop Sydney Owens crushed a double into the outfield, a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Hallie Ketcham and a single from second baseman Aralee Bogar drove home the go-ahead run and gave Iowa the game.
Purdue came out of the gate hot in the second game. After a single from freshman leadoff hitter Rachel Becker, Behan drove in an RBI double, stole third and reached home on a sacrifice fly from freshman left fielder Kasey Wilhoit.
The Boilermakers repeated this feat in the third inning, when a single by senior right fielder Molly Baker, a walk to Behan and another RBI from Wilhoit forced an Iowa pitching change. The next batter, senior first baseman Lexi Huffman, drove Behan in with another single to give Purdue its last run of the day.
Things began to fall apart slightly for the Boilers in the sixth inning. Five stolen bases, two walks, and a sacrifice fly put Iowa in a position to tie the game at multiple points during the inning.
"We gave away some free bases," head coach Boo De Oliveira said, "which we can't do late in the game."
Behan commended the pitching in the inning.
"Our pitchers were doing well, keeping the ball down," Behan said. "Being able to keep the ball down on a well-hitting team gives us some ground balls."
The Boilers escaped the inning and quickly tied up their win in the seventh inning. The team will return to Bittinger Stadium at 3 p.m. Wednesday for a doubleheader against Indiana State University.