Michigan State Junior Lori Padilla Sparks Softball to Doubleheader Split with Purdue

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Spartans currently sit at 27-25 on the season.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartans currently sit at 27-25 on the season. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State softball team (27-25, 6-11 Big Ten) used a spark from junior Lori Padilla in game two to split its doubleheader with Purdue at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing on Wednesday, May 11. After dropping game one, 5-0, the Spartans rallied for a 3-2 win in the second game, after trailing 2-0 early on.


After two scoreless innings to open the doubleheader, Purdue posted its first two runs of the game in the top of the third. Lindsey Rains singled in two RBIs to bring in both runs of the inning. Coming home first was Andie Varsho who reached base on a fielder’s choice to second base. Tori Chiodo joined Varsho at home as she reached base with a single up the middle to lead off the inning.


The Boilermakers put the contest out of reach with two additional runs in the top of the fifth. Suzie Rzegocki singled in the first run with a shot through the left side to bring in Rains. Danielle Fletcher drove in the final run of the inning with a single to center field, driving home Erika Petruzzi.


The final run of Purdue’s 5-0 win over MSU in game one occurred in the top of the sixth. Chiodo hit a solo homer to left field to cap off the scoring for the game.


The Spartans had two separate second and third opportunities with less than two outs; however they failed to convert during either situation.


After junior Brett Williams tripled off the right field wall with one out in the second, sophomore Kylene Hopkins followed with a fielder’s choice single for a first and third opportunity. Hopkins proceeded to steal second to give the Green and White a second and third situation with one out. MSU, however, was unable to capitalize with the next two batters going down in order.


MSU’s second opportunity came late in the game during the seventh inning. Looking to rally in the final frame, Hopkins led off the inning with a double down the left field line. After sophomore Mary Kate DiVirgilio flied out to center to move Hopkins to third, senior Karen Fox singled to short for MSU’s sixth hit of the game. Fox stole second base before the Spartans ended the inning with back-to-back groundouts.


Rzegocki earned the win for Purdue as she pitched a complete-game shutout. In her 7.0 innings of action, Rzegocki struck out nine batters on six MSU hits.


Junior Lauren Kramer fell to 8-5 this year for MSU with the game one loss. In 3.0 innings of work, Kramer allowed two earned runs on four hits. Sophomore Shelby Wise pitched the next 2.0 innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits. Junior Rebecca Rogers concluded the game for MSU with the final 2.0 innings. Rogers allowed one run on two hits during her time on the rubber.


After Purdue carried its offensive success from game one into game two with two runs in the first, MSU cut it back within one run in the bottom of the first.


Padilla led off the bottom half of the frame with an infield single to short. After senior Lindsey Hansen reached base for the first time of the day with a walk, Padilla moved up to second. A sacrifice bunt by junior Ali Grant moved both runners up one base to second and third, respectively. With Rzegocki receiving the ball back from the catcher with Kramer at the plate, Padilla sprinted home as Rzegocki stepped out of the pitcher’s circle, bringing the ball back into play and allowing Padilla to legally steal home unbeknownst to the Boilermakers.


Padilla’s aggressive base running sparked MSU to its first lead of the game in the bottom of the second. After back-to-back singles to lead off the inning by Williams and Hopkins, a passed ball gave the Spartans their fourth second and third opportunity of the day. After sophomore Jenny Ramsaier saw one pitch as the next batter, DiVirgilio came in to finish out the at-bat as a pinch hitting, ending her at-bat with a fielder’s choice single to first and scoring Williams from third. Fox singled in the game-winning run with a hit to center field to bring in Hopkins.


Freshman Cassee Layne settled into her zone after the first inning as she kept Purdue scoreless for the final six innings of action.


Layne improved her overall record to 15-15 on the year with the win over the Boilermakers. In 7.0 innings of work, Layne recorded five strikeouts while allowing two earned runs on eight hits.


Rzegocki pitched her second complete game for Purdue and falls to 26-15 on the season. In her 6.0 innings, Rzegocki struck out five batters and allowed three runs on five hits. In total, Rzegocki threw 199 pitches over the course of 13.0 innings between the two games for the Boilermakers.


The Spartans return to action this weekend for a home-and-home series with No. 2 Michigan. MSU will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. Game two will be held in East Lansing on Saturday, May 14 at 1:05 p.m.


MSU will dedicate the new Secchia Stadium as well as honor its four seniors on Saturday prior to its contest with the Wolverines. The dedication ceremony with the Secchia family is scheduled to begin at 11:55 a.m. on the infield of the diamond. The first 500 fans will receive a commemorative seat cushion.