The Purdue University Calumet softball team opened the 2015 season with a two-game sweep over visiting Benedictine-Springfield University Friday afternoon at the Sparta Dome in Crown Point.
The Peregrines (2-0) topped the Bulldogs (0-6) in five innings in Game 1, 9-1, then held off the visitors 5-3 in Game 2.
Senior Alison Kimble (Greenup, Ill./Cumberland) led the way in the circle, recording a career-high and program record 11 strikeouts in just five innings, scattering five hits and walking none against 20 batters faced.
At the plate, four players recorded two hits, but Kimble -- with a big fourth-inning, one-out double, helped her own cause with a game-high three RBI.
The Peregrines (1-0) did the most damage in the third, scoring five runs to take a commanding 6-0 lead after a Kaitlyn Skarecky (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) RBI single scored the game's first run in the first. In the third, freshman Kellie Mink (Stilesville, Ind./Cascade) opened the inning with a leadoff single to centerfield and advanced to second on a Bulldog error.
Skarecky (2-3, RBI) then singled to set up sophomore Samantha Oppenhuis (Munster, Ind./Illiana Christian), who doubled to right field to score Mink. Senior Ashley Adams (Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic) added an RBI single and the Peregrines scored two more runs on two BU-Springfield errors and a Mink walk to net all five runs scored.
After Kimble's two-RBI double in the fourth gave Purdue Calumet an 8-0 lead, BU-Springfield (0-5) saw new life after Jennifer Jennings blasted a solo shot to left field in the top of the fifth.
No matter for the Peregrines, as senior Alicia Ward (Mishawaka, Ind./Jimtown) would open the bottom of the fifth inning with a leadoff double, steal third, and then score on an errant throw by the Bulldogs catcher to end the game on the mercy rule.
Oppenhuis finished the game with two hits for the Peregrines, as did freshman Lea Hall (Catlin, Ill./Catlin), and Adams, while Ward and Adams both scored twice.
Bulldogs starter Abbie Watton took the loss, giving up seven hits and five earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched. Katie Stapleton and Sarah Worster each had two hits for BU-Springfield in the setback.
The Peregrines opened up the second game with two runs in the bottom of the first, as Ward walked and later scored on a wild pitch to give the host a quick 1-0 lead. Senior Olivia Donley (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley) then drilled a two-out double to score Mink, who singled in the No. 2 spot.
BU-Springfield would answer with two runs in the top of the second and another in the fourth, but the Peregrines scored one run each in the second, fifth, and sixth innings to maintain their lead throughout the game.
Freshman Alex Morales (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) scored in the second off a Bulldogs error and sophomore Emily Cole (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way North) crossed the plate in the fifth on a BU-Springfield passed ball. Kimble added her second double of the day in the fifth and later scored, as Ward blasted a triple down the left field line to make it 5-3 Peregrines.
Junior Shelbie Jones (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) picked up the win the circle, striking out three and giving up just one earned run in 5.0 innings pitched. Kimble got the save, as she struck out five more in the final two innings to record 16 Ks on the day.
Skarecky and Donley each had two hits and Ward and Donley added an RBI apiece in the Game 2 victory.
The Peregrines return to action Friday, March 6, when Purdue Calumet kicks off its spring trip in Gulf Shores, Ala., with game against Brenau and Reinhardt.