Purdue Calumet Drops Home Opener to Stritch Thursday

PUC-PeregrinsA hard-hitting Cardinal Stritch University spoiled the home opener for the Purdue University Calumet softball team with a two-game sweep Thursday at Dowling Park’s Fifth Third Bank Field.

The Wolves (21-5, 2-0 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) blasted a two-game total of five home runs to defeat the Peregrines 6-1 and 9-1, with the second contest ending in five innings due to the eight-run rule.

Purdue Calumet (7-6, 1-3) returns to action Friday, when the Peregrines host Michigan-Dearborn (8-12) in two nonleague contests beginning at 1 p.m. (CT) at Dowling Park.

GAME 1: Stritch 6, Purdue Calumet 1
After three and a half scoreless innings, the Wolves struck first with two runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI triple by Gabi Palacios and a RBI-single by Olivia Wenzel. The Peregrines would answer in the top of the fifth, as freshman Kellie Mink (Stilesville, Ind./Cascade) doubled to lead off the inning and was brought home by an RBI double by freshman Lea Hall (Catlin, Ill./Catlin) to make the score 2-1.

The Wolves, however, would hold the Peregrines scoreless for the rest of the game and add runs in the fifth and sixth – including two home runs in the sixth by Palacios and Kati Herberg – to pull away with the Game 1 win. Hall finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate with the game’s lone RBI to lead the Peregrines, who had seven hits in the contest. Alison Kimble (Greenup, Ill./Cumberland) took the loss in the circle, giving up four earned runs, seven hits and striking out seven.

GAME 2: Stritch 9, Purdue Calumet 1 (five innings)
Stritch totaled 11 hits – including five extra base hits and three home runs – to come away with a shortened victory in Thursday’s nightcap. The Wolves’ Erica Kramer recorded two home runs, a double and five RBI of her own to lead the way, as Stritch scored two in the first and never looked back.

The Peregrines were held to four hits by Wolves’ pitcher Maddie Szalewski, who picked up the win in the circle, her seventh of the year.

Purdue Calumet senior Alicia Ward (Mishawaka, Ind./Jimtown) picked up the Peregrines’ lone RBI in the top of the fifth, crushing a double to center field to score teammate Jess Loy (Skokie, Ill./Niles North), who doubled to right field with two outs.

Freshman Kaitlyn Skarecky (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) and senior Skyler Woods (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) recorded singles for the Peregrines.