March 5, 2006
FULLERTON, Calif. - Liz Walters had her second big game in a row, tying the game with a two-run double in the sixth inning but Ashley Hall's sacrifice in the top of the eighth proved to be the winning run, as Purdue defeated UC Santa Barbara 5-3 on the final day of the Worth Invitational.
Following their biggest win of the year--a 2-0 shutout of No. 5 Stanford Saturday--the Gauchos' (9-7 overall) extra inning loss to the Boilermakers was their first defeat to a team not ranked in the Top 25 in 2006.
Purdue (9-9) jumped on the scoreboard early as DaQueta Johnson launched a three-run home run over the right field fence with one out in the opening inning. Johnson's long ball drove in sophomore Ashley Hall who was on second after a fielder's choice and wild pitch, and senior Tricia Lilley, who was hit by a pitch. Senior Becky Stone followed with a single up the middle, but the next batter grounded into a double play to end the inning.
UCSB answered with a run on two hits in the second. Following a double to right by shortstop Brittany Putich off Boilermaker starter Brooke Baker, junior starting pitcher Jennifer Davis helped her own cause with an RBI single up the middle, as the Gauchos cut into the Boilermaker lead 3-1.
After UCSB put runners in scoring position in both the third and fourth but could not score, Purdue threatened again in the sixth as Hall walked and then moved to third on a sacrifice and a ground ball. A pop up, however, left her stranded in scoring position.
Santa Barbara then tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning. After sophomore catcher Ericka Hansen drew a walk and Davis singled, junior right fielder Liz Walters hit a two-run double to left field that drove in both runners. A single by Danielle Meyers put runners on the corners, prompting a Purdue pitching change. Senior Diana LaRiva entered the game and got the next batter to fly out to left to end the inning.
The Gauchos put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh inning with walks to freshman first baseman Tiffany Wright and Hansen, but LaRiva again recorded the final out, sending the game to extra innings.
Sophomore Tiffany Krcelich was placed on second to begin the eighth inning due to international tie breaker rules. Krcelich moved to third on a sacrifice by senior Staci Falzon then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hall. The Boilermakers tacked on another run as Lilley singled up the middle to drive in Falzon, who reached on the sacrifice due to a fielding error by the catcher, from second. Lilley went to third on a ground ball to short, but was left stranded by a line drive to the third baseman, but the damage was done and Purdue to a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
Putich was placed on second for UCSB in the bottom of the inning. A walk to Walters gave the Gauchos a second base runner, but a strikeout and two fly outs sealed the victory for Purdue.
LaRiva picked up the win for the Boilermakers after striking out two and not allowing a hit in two innings of relief, improving to 4-3. Davis took the loss for UCSB after allowing five runs on five hits, while striking out five. She falls to 6-5 on the year.
The Gauchos return to action Wednesday, March 8 when they square off with the University of Detroit to open the Hawai'i Spring Fling Tournament in Honolulu. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.