Payne Has Big Day; Purdue Northwest Softball Drops Pair to Northwood

Midland, Mich. – Senior Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Kankakee CC/Bishop McNamara) had a big day at the plate, but the Purdue Northwest softball team lost both games of its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader with Northwood University (Mich.) Wednesday afternoon at Fisher Stadium in Midland, Mich.  The Pride came up just short in game one falling 9-8, and then dropped the second game of the doubleheader, 5-3.  Payne went a combined 4-for-8 with two homers, a double, four RBI and three runs scored.


In game one, PNW jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning behind a RBI double down the right field line by Payne and a sacrifice fly by senior Samme Miller (North Salem, Ind./St. Joseph’s College/Tri-West).  The Timberwolves answered right away scoring three runs in the bottom half of the first on a RBI double, a RBI single and a sacrifice fly.  A solo homer by Payne in the top of the third tied the game at 3-3, but Northwood took the lead again in the bottom of the third with a pair of RBI singles to go up, 5-3.


Junior Zoee Anderson (Lafayette, Ind./St. Joseph’s College/Lafayette Jefferson) tied the game again in the top of the fourth with a two-run single up the middle.  However, NU recorded a pair of two-run homers to plate four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to build a 9-5 advantage.  Senior Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) hit a RBI double to the gap in left centerfield in the top of the fifth to pull PNW within three, 9-6.  A two-run homer to left field by Payne in the top of the sixth brought the Pride within a run, 9-8.  PNW had a chance to tie the game leaving a runner stranded at third base in the top of the seventh.


Pagan got the start in game one for the Pride and pitched a third of an inning giving up three hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks with a strikeout.  Junior Mia Stevens (Rensselaer, Ind./South Suburban CC/Kankakee Valley) suffered the game one loss (7-4) in relief Wednesday.  She threw three innings and allowed nine hits, six runs (all earned) and a walk.  Freshman Courtney Blackwell (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) threw the final 2.2 frames and gave up four hits, no runs and a walk and a strikeout.


Northwood took an early 2-0 lead in game two scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning off a RBI single and a throwing error.  The Timberwolves added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning on a fielding error and a RBI single.  NU extended its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI off a fielder’s choice.  PNW scored all three of its runs in the top of the seventh with a solo homer to left field by Pagan and a two-run single to left field by Anderson.  Freshman Samantha Burgard (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake South) took the loss (4-5) pitching all six innings for the Pride and allowing seven hits, five runs (three runs) and three walks with three strikeouts.

Purdue Northwest (18-17 overall/8-10 GLIAC) heads to University Center, Mich., on Saturday, April 14, for a GLIAC doubleheader against Saginaw Valley State University.  The first game of the pair is scheduled for a noon CT start at the SVSU Softball Complex.