Payne, Pagan Play Well As Purdue Northwest Softball Splits With Wayne State

Detroit, Mich. – Seniors Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Kankakee CC/Bishop McNamara) and Holly Pagan (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) both had solid outings in helping the Purdue Northwest softball team to a doubleheader split against Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) foe Wayne State University (Mich.) Friday afternoon at Gary L. Bryce Field in Detroit, Mich.  The Pride won a wild one in the opener, 11-10, but came up just short in the second game falling 4-3.


Payne went a combined 4-for-6 with a triple, two runs scored and a RBI on the day; while Pagan had a pair of hits, including a double, to go along with a run scored and a RBI.  Pagan also logged the victory (2-1) in the circle in game one throwing the final three innings and allowing four hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks.


After two scoreless innings to open the first game, things got pretty crazy as PNW scored six runs in the top of the third inning with four of the runs coming off a pair of hit batters and a pair of walks, all with the bases loaded.  Pagan also had a RBI double down the left field line in the big frame.  WSU answered right back in the bottom of the third with five runs on a pair of RBI singles and a three-run homer to left centerfield.


Pagan recorded a sacrifice fly and sophomore Taylor Mendenhall (Brownsburg, Ind./St. Joseph’s College/Brownsburg) scored on a wild pitch in the top of the fourth to help the Pride extend their lead to 8-5.  However, the Warriors scored two in the fourth and another run in the fifth to tie the game, 8-8.  Throwing errors by Wayne State in the top of the seventh inning helped Purdue Northwest plate three more runs to take an 11-8 lead.  WSU hit a two-run double in the bottom half of the seventh to draw within a run, but Pagan got the final two outs on fielder’s choices to seal the victory.


Game two got off to a fast start as junior Zoee Anderson (Lafayette, Ind./St. Joseph’s College/Lafayette Jefferson) scored on a wild pitch and Mendenhall posted a RBI single in the top of the first inning to give the Pride an early 2-0 advantage.  Unfortunately for PNW, WSU took the lead for good in the bottom half of the first with three runs off a RBI groundout, a wild pitch and a RBI double.


Junior Tessa Steffens (Litchfield, Ill./Litchfield) hit a RBI single through the left side in the top of the third inning to pull her team within a run, 4-3.  The Pride had chances with Payne getting stranded at third base after hitting a two-out triple in the fourth inning and Mendenhall stuck at second in the fifth.  Pagan got the loss (2-2) as the starter throwing two-thirds of an inning and giving up three hits, three runs (all unearned) and no walks.


Purdue Northwest (16-11 overall/6-4 GLIAC) heads to Ashland, Ohio, on Saturday, March 31, to play a GLIAC doubleheader against Ashland University.  The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled for a noon CT start at Brookside Park in Ashland.