Anderson’s Big Day Helps Purdue Northwest Softball Take Final Two Florida Games
Clermont, Fla. – Junior Zoee Anderson (Lafayette, Ind./Lafayette Jefferson) had a huge day offensively to help lead the Purdue Northwest softball team to a pair of victories in the final two games of its Florida trip Saturday morning as part of the PFX Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. The Pride took down Lock Haven (Pa.), 3-0, in the morning’s first game and then finished strong with a convincing 12-2 victory over Bloomsburg (Pa.) in just five innings in the second game. Anderson combined to go 5-for-6 on the day with a homer, five runs scored and three RBI.
Senior Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Kankakee CC/Bishop McNamara) got PNW on the scoreboard early in the first game against Lock Haven with a RBI triple off the wall in left field to score sophomore Taylor Mendenhall (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) in the bottom of the first inning. Payne scored in the bottom of the fourth inning following a fielding error at second base to put the Pride up, 2-0.
Anderson hit a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth. After stealing second, she scored when Mendenhall drove her home on a RBI single to centerfield in the next at-bat. Junior Mia Stevens (Wheatfield, Ind./Kankakee Valley) took care of the rest in the circle completing her second shutout of the year to improve her season record to 4-1. She pitched all seven frames and allowed just five hits and a walk with a pair of strikeouts.
In the second game against Bloomsburg, Purdue Northwest took advantage of a pair of errors by the Huskies and a two-run double by senior Samme Miller (North Salem, Ind./St. Joseph’s College/Tri-West) to build a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Bloomsburg recorded a pair of solo homers in the top of the second inning to cut the early deficit in half, 4-2. However, junior Kalyn Learnard (Fairmount, Ill./Catlin) smashed a homer of her own, senior Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) notched a RBI single to right centerfield and junior Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster) got a sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the second to extend the lead to 7-2.
Anderson crushed a two-run shot over the wall in left field in the bottom of the third to put PNW ahead, 9-2; and junior Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield), Payne and Anderson all recorded RBI in the bottom of the fourth to further the advantage to 12-2 in the fourth inning. Freshman Courtney Blackwell (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) got the start for the Pride in Saturday’s second game and threw 1.1 innings before freshman Samantha Burgard (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) came in to finish the game. Burgard got the win (2-1) in relief pitching the final 3.2 frames and gave up three hits, no runs and a walk with two strikeouts.
Purdue Northwest (10-7 overall) returns home and opens the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) portion of its schedule at home on Wednesday, March 21. The Pride host the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals at Fifth Third Bank Field in Dowling Park with the first game of the conference doubleheader set for a 3:30 p.m. CT start.