Purdue Holds on For First-Round Victory Against Michigan State
After racing out to an 8-0 lead, Purdue withstood a late Michigan State rally to claim an 8-5 victory in the final game of the opening day of the Big Ten Softball Tournament. Purdue’s Andie Varsho belted a three-run home run in the third before Danielle Fletcher singled home a pair of runs in the fifth. The Boilermakers posted three more runs in the top of the sixth before Michigan State platted five runs in the bottom of the inning, but would get no closer. The Boilermakers head to Friday’s quarterfinal, where they will take on host and second-seeded Nebraska in the final game of the day.
Penn State Advances to Quarterfinal Round With Victory Over Illinois
Penn State, entering the tournament as the No. 11 seed, scored two in the first and added two more in the second, setting the table for its 5-2 victory over sixth-seeded Illinois on Thursday afternoon. Macy Jones scattered just six hits in earning the complete-game victory and also drove in Penn State’s first run of the game. With the scored tied, 2-2, in the top of the second, Penn State’s Kailyn Johnson tripled home two runs for the clinching scores. Cassidy Bell added an insurance home run in the top of the seventh as the Nittany Lions advanced to face third-seeded Minnesota on Friday afternoon.
Big Fifth Inning Lifts Ohio State Over Iowa
A six-run fifth inning propelled No. 8 Ohio State to a come-from-behind victory over ninth-seeded Iowa, 8-4, in the second game of the Big Ten Softball Tournament on Thursday. The Buckeyes entered the bottom of the fifth down 4-1, but quickly loaded the bases with one away. After two walks cut the lead to 4-3, a grand slam by Shelby Pickett gave the Buckeyes the lead it would not relinquish. The victory sends Ohio State to the quarterfinals, where it will meet top-seeded Michigan at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday.
Northwestern Defeats Indiana in Opening Round
The Northwestern offense combined for three home runs, part of an 11-hit effort as the fifth-seeded Wildcats defeated No. 12 Indiana, 6-3, in the opening game of the conference tournament on Thursday. Marisa Bast drove in two runs as Northwestern raced out to a 5-0 lead through three innings. The Hoosiers had the bases loaded with two away in the bottom of the seventh, but Northwestern’s Amy Letourneau got out of the jam to send the Wildcats into a quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 Wisconsin on Friday.
First pitch at the 2013 Big Ten Softball Tournament is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT Thursday when fifth-seeded Northwestern takes on No. 12 Indiana. It will be the first of four opening-round games scheduled for day, which will also include No. 8 Ohio State facing No. 9 Iowa, No. 6 Illinois taking on No. 11 Penn State and No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Purdue.