May 2, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 12/14 Minnesota softball team was held without a run for the first time all season Friday afternoon as it dropped a 3-0 decision to Purdue at the Boilermaker Softball Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. The result dropped the Gophers’ record to 36-9 and 14-6 in the Big Ten. The Maroon and Gold finished with 14-6 in the conference a season ago.
Starting pitcher Sara Groenewegen dropped to 12-2 on the season despite fanning 14 Boilermaker batters, tying a career-best. She allowed four hits after no-hitting Penn State in a 9-0 win in her previous start.
The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first three innings as Groenewegen and Purdue starter Lilly Fecho exchanged scoreless frames until the bottom of the fourth when Ashley Burkhardt hit a home run to left field to break the scoreless deadlock.
The Boilermakers cushioned their lead with another home run in the fifth inning by Andie Varsho, a two-run shot that also plated Paris Andrew, who double earlier in the stanza.
Fecho made the three-run lead stand, striking out eight in a shutout effort. Sam Macken was the only Gopher to reach base, going two-for-two with a single in the third and a double in the sixth. The multi-hit effort was the first of Macken’s career and pushed her team-best hitting streak to five games.
The loss evened the all-time series between Minnesota and Purdue at 21. Groenewegen reached double-digit strikeouts for the sixth time this season.
The Gophers and Boilermakers will play the second game of their three-game series Saturday at noon CT before both squads wrap up regular-season play Sunday with an 11 a.m. CT meeting.
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