Before facing Purdue, Iowa Boilermaker softball had been riding high with eight wins in its last 10 games and hadn’t dropped a conference series.

In a pivotal matchup, the Boilermaker softball squad (17-18, 5-4 Big Ten) surged past the Hawkeyes (16-15, 4-5 Big Ten) in the conference standings with a sweep, kicking off with a nail-biting extra-inning victory over last week’s Big Ten (Co-) Pitcher of the Week.

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Boilermaker softball

In the second game of the doubleheader (2-1 Win), Julia Gossett secured her seventh win of the season and her second of the weekend, orchestrating a shutdown performance against the Hawkeyes in the final five outs. Purdue managed to plate two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, providing just enough cushion to clinch the win.

Iowa managed to score only once, courtesy of a walk by Boilermaker softball Olivia Cainey that drove in a run in the second inning. However, the resilient sophomore pitcher held the Hawkeyes in check, conceding just one hit over the next four innings.

Purdue’s offense struggled to find its rhythm in the second game, mustering only four hits, three of which came in a critical sixth inning surge that led to two crucial runs.

In the opening game of the Boilermaker softball (4-0 Win), Purdue surged ahead early, capitalizing on Iowa’s struggles to load the bases in consecutive innings. Despite a strong start by Purdue’s junior Madi Elish, who was relieved after giving up her third hit in the second inning, the Boilermakers seized control, tallying three runs in the second inning and ultimately shutting out the Hawkeyes. Standout performances from Sage Scarmardo and Khloe Banks, who both notched two hits and an RBI, powered Purdue’s offensive onslaught. Kendall Klochack’s stellar relief pitching stifled Iowa’s scoring opportunities, as the junior hurler faced 20 batters, issuing no walks, striking out three, and securing her fourth win of the season.

In the series opener (3-2 Win, eight innings) on Friday, both teams struggled to find offensive momentum, with Purdue batting .200 and Iowa even lower at .156. The game was largely defined by stellar pitching performances, highlighted by Purdue’s Gossett notching 10 strikeouts and Iowa’s Jalen Adams, the conference Pitcher of the Week, delivering a solid outing. Purdue managed to strike early with a Tyrina Jones’ home run in the second inning, but Iowa clawed back with a late rally to force extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Jones stepped up again, launching her second home run of the night to secure the walk-off victory for Purdue.

Boilermaker softball Overall, the weekend sweep marked a significant shift in the conference standings and showcased Purdue’s resilience and offensive firepower, setting the stage for an exciting remainder of the season.

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