Purdue, seeded 11th, edged Rutgers 4-3 on Thursday night in the final first-round game of the Big Ten softball tournament in Bloomington, Ind. The game ended after midnight local time after starting after a 2½-hour rain delay.
The Boilermakers (31-26) will play the Gophers next at 6 p.m. Friday in the fourth quarterfinal of Day 2. Minnesota, the three-time defending conference tournament champion, swept Purdue 5-1, 5-1 and 8-2 in Minneapolis in late March.
The No. 6-seeded Scarlet Knights (28-24) scored three runs in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Purdue rallied on Mallory Baker’s two-out, two-run double in the fifth.
Indiana 4, Penn State 2: The No. 7-seeded Hoosiers (36-20) scored three runs in the third inning on a double steal, an error and Maddie Westmoreland’s single. Two pitchers combined on a two-hitter against No. 10-seeded PSU (24-32).
Wisconsin 7, Iowa 4: Melanie Cross had three hits, including a triple and double, and drove in three runs as the fifth-seeded Badgers (39-11) defeated the Hawkeyes (19-32). Reliever Maddie Schwartz, a freshman from Chanhassen, got the win, giving up one run and four hits in four innings.
Illinois 6, Nebraska 4: The Illini (32-22), seeded ninth, scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 6-2 lead and held on vs. the eighth-seeded Cornhuskers (21-31).
• Gophers left fielder Natalie DenHartog, of Hopkins, was named one of 10 finalists for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Freshman of the Year award. She led the Big Ten in RBI with 58, was second in slugging percentage at .840 and tied for third in homers with 15.
• Stanford coach Jessica Allister, who left Minnesota to take over the Cardinal program in 2018, was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. She has led Stanford to a 32-16 record.