Despite multiple return attempts, the Buckeyes were stopped by Purdue’s late-game efforts on both sides of the ball and lost three of four to the Boilermakers.
Ohio State (18-17) won Game 1 of the series Friday, but lost the remaining three games to Purdue (13-23) to complete the first half of an eight-game road trip.
The Buckeyes started the weekend with a 5-1 victory behind a combination of senior right-hander Payton Buresch in the circle and junior third baseman Ashley Prange with three RBIs and a two-doubles performance.
Purdue rebounded with a double sweep on Saturday, winning Game 1 by a score of 4-2 and winning 7-6 in Game 2 after Ohio State scored three points in their last game at bat to tie the game. .
The Buckeyes didn’t quite catch up on Sunday as the Boilermakers took a low lead in the first set to the finish, winning 4-2. Three Ohio State hitters played multi-stroke games in the final.
On their first trip to West Lafayette, Indiana since 2012, the Buckeyes greeted the Boilermakers with five runs in the first two innings.
Prange dug into the batter’s box with two outs and bases loaded in the top half of the second inning and took all three runners on a 3-run double. Senior first baseman Niki Carver added another run on an RBI single two hitters later.
The Ohio state offense was only tied for three hits in the end, but Buresch made sure to keep Purdue down from any damage.
Buresch managed to come out of a base-laden jam and out on her first inning of work by forcing a pop fly and forcing junior receiver Kaeley Hallada to take the third strike.
The right-hander pulled out the last seven Boilermakers and 13 of the last 14 to complete his 3-shot outing. Buresch threw four goals and had only one strikeout, but forced 15 rushing runs to keep the Purdue offense from lifting many hits.
Junior shortstop Rachel Becker and first-year catcher Kiley Goff each doubled for the Boilermakers.
After taking the lead on Friday, Purdue senior right-hander Sydney Bates had resolved the Buckeyes’ offense for the most part in the first of two games on Saturday.
Bates held Ohio State to just three hits in his full seven innings, striking out five while walking four.
This time, Purdue hit first. First baseman Kaitlyn Brannstrom sent a brace to the wall in center field, allowing Goff to score on the first goal of the game.
Two innings later, Brannstrom and junior designate hitter Alex Echazarretta each connected with RBI hits to extend the Boilermakers’ lead to three.
Buckeyes graduate shortstop Carley Gaskill narrowed the deficit with a 2-run homerun early in the fourth inning, his second of the season. Prange and main right fielder Megan McMenemy represented the only two other hits for Ohio State.
Rookie straight Allison Smith and junior Jessica Ross combined to start the circle, with the former responsible for Purdue’s four innings in 4 1/3 innings, while the latter pitched 1 2/3 of cleared innings and allowed two hits.
A late rally nearly prevented Purdue from completing the double-headed sweep, but the Boilermakers used a starting brace in extra innings to secure the victory.
Junior second baseman Becca Jones doubled up to mark first-year center-back Kiara Dillon from the first with a late-inning strikeout. Purdue has hit eight of his 12 hits on his last four trips to plate.
The Boilermakers scored for the first time in the lower half of the opening round, just as they did in the previous afternoon football game. Brannstrom continued to swing a hot bat on Saturday with a single RBI and finished a perfect 3 for 3 with a home run and 3 run.
After allowing two runners to reach the scoring position in the first three innings, the Buckeyes connected on a pair of home runs to take a 3-1 lead. Junior center fielder Meggie Otte led the game with a solo shot, and McMenemy hit her first of the season three hitters later, scoring designated runner-up Taylor Pack, who scored a double with an out.
Ohio State allowed the runners to reach the goal position in each of the next two innings on a single hit, but Purdue took the opportunity to score five runs during that span on the Brannstrom 3-point shot and the Senior left fielder Ryleigh Scott’s 2-point double in the sixth. to put the Boilermakers in front of 6-3.
Carver and Otte led the seventh with back-to-back doubles to cut the deficit to two, and rookie Kirsten Eppele, who replaced in the game as the designated player, equalized by connecting on a 2-2 bid for a 2- run in doubles.
Eppele’s shot would be the Buckeyes’ last as the game dragged on. Gaskill also had a multi-hit day in addition to Carver, Otte and Pack. Rookie Hannah Bryan made her career debut at wide receiver, drawing a walk in one of her two home plate appearances.
Buresch and Smith combined to start the game. Bursch started the sixth inning with four strikeouts and Smith came in late to try to limit Purdue on the comeback attempt.
Buresch and Purdue, first-year southpaw Savannah Henley, had a rematch between the starting pitchers on Friday, and it was the latter who emerged victorious in the final.
For the third game in a row, Purdue opened the scoring as Brannstrom continued to swing a middle stick with a single RBI to score Becker.
Two innings later, Goff followed suit with a single RBI, and Echazarretta had a full count with goals loaded to extend the lead to 3-0.
Ohio State finally narrowed the deficit in the fifth inning by connecting with four hits, and Prange started the rally with an RBI brace, chasing Henley in favor of Bates in relief.
Bates immediately pulled Carver out, but Otte hit a single to score second baseman Mariah Rodriguez, who had a single decay earlier in the inning.
Rodriguez recorded Buckeyes’ last stroke to start the seventh inning, but Bates came back on form and struck out seven of the last eight batters to secure the 4-2 victory.
Ohio State beat Purdue nine to seven, and both teams left eight runners on base. Carver, Otte and Rodriguez had multi-hitting matches as their offense saw the runners get into goal position twice in the game.
The Buckeyes remain on the road next weekend with a four-game trip to Illinois starting Friday at 5 p.m.