The Purdue University Calumet softball team sustained a pair of losses to a red-hot Clarke University squad in a nonleague twin bill Saturday at Dowling Park.
The Peregrines (9-10) fell to the Crusaders (13-5) – who have won seven straight games – by scores of 9-2 and 11-3 at Fifth Third Bank Field.
Purdue Calumet returns to action Sunday, when the Peregrines travel to Rosemont, Ill., for a 1 p.m. Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Roosevelt at the Ballpark at Rosemont.
The stadium is located at 27 Jennie Finch Way (Balmoral and Pearl Street) in Rosemont, Ill.
GAME 1: Clarke 9, Purdue Calumet 2
The Peregrines responded quickly to a two-run third inning by the Crusaders with two runs of their own in bottom half of the inning.
Senior Ashley Adams (Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic) beat out the throw on an infield single to score two Alicia Ward (Mishawaka, Ind./Jimtown) and Olivia Donley (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley) to knot the score at 2-all.
But the Crusaders would put together a seven-run fifth inning – including Mackenzie VanDanBerg grand slam home run – to put the game out of reach down the stretch.
Donley went 2-for-3 and scored a run to lead the Peregrines at the plate, while freshman right-hander Kellie Mink (Stilesville, Ind./Cascade) pitched a strong five-inning outing in the no-decision, giving up four hits, zero earned runs and striking out six.
GAME 2: Clarke 11, Purdue Calumet 3
Sarah Crews and Danielle Stralow connected for two home runs to lead the Crusaders to a big Game 2 win.
Purdue Calumet cut Clarke’s early three-run lead to 3-1 in the third, when Ashley Adams hit a RBI-single up the middle to put the Peregrines on the board.
After the Crusaders added three more runs in the fourth on doubles by Allyson Renforth and Kayla O’Brien, Purdue Calumet would answer again with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Freshman Alex Morales (Bartlett, Ill./Barlett) plated teammate Alison Kimble (Greenup, Ill./Cumberland) on a sacrifice fly and Olivia Donley connected on an RBI-single to right to net the Peregrines’ runs.
Clarke wasn’t finished, however, adding a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to seal the victory.
Skyler Woods (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), Adams, Kimble, and Donley accounted for the Peregrines’ four hits and Kimble (4-6) was credited with the loss.