The Purdue softball team completed a series defeat of Penn State with a tough doubleheader split Saturday afternoon.
The Boilermakers (27-14, 4-5 Big Ten) opened the day by mercying Penn State (19-20, 3-6) 9-1 in five innings, then dropped the final game of the series 7-4. Senior first baseman Lexi Huffman came in clutch again for the Boilers, driving in five runs on three hits and scoring two runs of her own in the two games.
The highlight of Purdue's day came in the second inning of the first game. In an outing that saw 12 Boilermaker at-bats, the team scored eight runs on five hits, including a two-run single from senior pitcher Kaitlynn Moody and a three-run double from Huffman.
This single inning put Purdue within one run of invoking the mercy rule. According to the NCAA, a team must be ahead by at least eight runs after the fifth inning in order to mercy its opponent. The Boilermakers sealed their runaway victory with a sacrifice fly RBI by sophomore catcher Rachel Krzysko.
Purdue backed up its offensive strength with a powerful defensive showing. In her complete game, Moody threw seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits and two walks.
Purdue's fortune turned in the second game of the day. The teams traded runs for the first few innings, but three consecutive 2-run innings by the Nittany Lions put the Boilermakers in a four-run hole at the stretch. Penn State also managed to smother Purdue's offense, led by pitcher Kylee Lingenfelter.
The team was putting together a comeback attempt, looking to repeat its 11th-hour magic from Friday night, but Penn State sealed its win with back-to-back first base-led outs.
The Boilermakers next face Indiana University in Bloomington for a Wednesday night doubleheader. The team returns to Bittinger Stadium at 6 p.m. Friday night to face Nebraska.