Morales’ Walk-Off Home Run Lifts Purdue Calumet to Split With #22 Olivet Nazarene

PUC-PeregrinsAlex Morales’ seventh-inning walk-off home run capped a thrilling 7-6 league victory over No. 22 Olivet Nazarene University for the Purdue University Calumet softball team after the Peregrines dropped Game 1 Wednesday.

Purdue Calumet (7-4, 1-1 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) pulled off the Game 2 victory after falling in five innings in day’s opener, 13-3.

The Peregrines return to action Thursday, when they host Cardinal Stritch to open Purdue Calumet’s home slate at Dowling Park on Fifth Third Bank Field. The league twin bill is set to begin at 3 p.m. (CT).

Game 2: Purdue Calumet 7, #22 Olivet Nazarene 6
With the Peregrines tied with the Tigers at 6-all in the bottom of the seventh, Morales (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) took the first pitch she saw and drilled it over the fence for her second home run of the season and biggest hit so far in her career, as the freshman gave Purdue Calumet the walk-off victory.

After Olivet Nazarene (13-8, 1-1) scored Game 2’s first run in the top of the first inning, the Peregrines came storming back in the bottom half of the frame with three scores of their own. Senior Alicia Ward (Mishawaka, Ind./Jimtown) opened the inning with leadoff single to center field to set up classmate Skyler Woods (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), who belted her first home run of the season to make it 2-1, Peregrines. Purdue Calumet wasn’t finished, as freshman Kaitlyn Skarecky (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) doubled and Morales singled to set up Samantha Oppenhuis (Munster, Ind./Illiana Christian), who drilled an RBI single to push the lead to 3-1.

ONU would score once in the fifth to trim the lead to one, but the Peregrines would get two runs in the sixth when pinch hitter Olivia Donley (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley) crushed her first home run of the year on a 1-0 pitch to extend the Peregrines’ lead to 6-2.

The Tigers wouldn’t go away, recording five hits to score four runs in the top of the seventh and tie the game at 6-all before Morales’ late-inning heroics.

Senior Alison Kimble (Greenup, Ill./Cumberland) picked up the win in Game 2, striking out two in 7.0 innings pitched. Woods led the Peregrines at the plate with a perfect 4-for-4 performance with two RBI and Morales added 3 hits and two RBI in the win.

Game 1: #22 Olivet Nazarene 13, Purdue Calumet 3 (five innings)
The Tigers exploded for nine runs – with the help of a two-run homer by Katie Megyesi -- in the first inning and never looked back en route to a shortened contest in the day’s opener.

Purdue Calumet senior Ashley Adams (Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic) gave the Peregrines new life with a three-run long ball of her own in the bottom half of the inning, but the Tigers would score two in the third and two in the fifth to keep the game out of reach.

ONU pitchers Maggie Tidrow (four Ks) and Jamie Kiefer held the Peregrines to just three hits, as Ward, Woods and Adams recorded each.