Pagan Homers Twice; Purdue Northwest Softball Swept By Davenport

Caledonia, Mich. – Despite a pair of homers by senior Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett), the Purdue Northwest softball team could not pick up a victory in a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) losses to Davenport University (Mich.) Friday afternoon at Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex in Caledonia, Mich.  The Pride lost the first game, 13-4, in five innings and then gave up a late four-run lead in game two before falling 8-7.


PNW started the first game on a high note scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on a two-run home run by Pagan to right field.  However in the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers took control scoring six runs off an error and five hits, including a pair of two-run doubles.  The Pride answered with two runs in the top of the fifth off a RBI single to right field by sophomore Taylor Mendenhall (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) and a bases-loaded walk by junior Taylor Kotzo (Munster, Ind./Munster).


Unfortunately, DU ended the game early via the mercy rule in the bottom half of the fifth scoring seven runs capped by a three-run homer to left field.  Freshman Courtney Blackwell (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) picked up the loss (7-8) for Purdue Northwest in the circle.  She pitched all 4.2 frames and allowed 11 hits, 13 runs (12 earned) and a walk with one strikeout.


In game two, Davenport took the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI double to left field.  Pagan tied the game with a solo shot to right centerfield to open the second inning and took a 2-1 lead later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman Lexi Madrigal (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point).  The Panthers tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third on another RBI double, but the Pride went back up 5-2 in the top of the fourth on a two-run double by junior Shailen Johnson (West Lafayette, Ind./Danville Area CC/Harrison) and a RBI double by sophomore Emma Hendricks (Henryville, Ill./Henryville).


Davenport crept within two runs, 5-3, in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI single, but Mendenhall hit a two-out, two-run single down the left field line in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 7-3.  Unfortunately for PNW, the Panthers rallied and scored five runs off five hits in the bottom of the sixth to take the 8-7 lead.  All five runs came with two outs and were sparked by a two-run double to right field.  Freshman Samantha Burgard (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) took the loss (7-6) pitching the first 5.2 frames and giving up 12 hits, eight runs (all earned) and three walks with three strikeouts.


Purdue Northwest (24-21 overall/14-14 GLIAC) continues conference play on Saturday, April 28, with a road doubleheader against league leader and No. 10 ranked Grand Valley State University (Mich.).  The first game of the pair is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. CT start at the GVSU Softball Field in Allendale, Mich.