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Game Notes 4: Easton Crimson Classic

February 27, 2014


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The Slate
Easton Crimson Classic
John & Ann Rhoads Softball Stadium ~ Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Live Stats: purduesports.com
Video (Alabama):< href="http://bit.ly/1mCYulj">here

Friday, Feb. 28
2:30 p.m. vs. Florida State
5 p.m. at Alabama

Saturday, March 1
Noon vs. Florida State
7 p.m. vs. Houston

Sunday, March 2
Noon vs. Houston

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (5-7-1) will head to the state of Alabama for the second straight weekend, when it makes it way to Tuscaloosa for the Easton Crimson Classic. The team returns 17 players from its 2013 squad which posted a 21-32 mark, an 8-14 Big Ten mark and Big Ten Tournament second round appearance. Seven position starters and three starting pitchers return, while five newcomers join the roster. Head coach Kim Schuetteis in her first season with the Boilermakers after spending the last eight years as head coach at Eastern Illinois.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers posted a 1-3 record at the Wilson/DeMarini Classic in Auburn, Ala., last weekend. Purdue fell to Samford (6-3) and Jacksonville State (2-1) on Saturday and split contests with Mississippi Valley State (W 12-0) and Auburn (L 0-8) on Sunday. The win over MVSU featured a no-hitter by junior Alex Whittemore, the 16th in program history and first since 2010.

Statistically Speaking: First baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.450) and outfielder Andie Varsho (.421) lead the Boilermaker bats, while four other players are batting .250 or better. Burkhardt boasts a .450 average, including seven doubles and four home runs, as well as a team-best 18 RBI and 12 runs scored. Varsho has added 12 runs and nine stolen bases. Catcher Danielle Fletcher (.306),outfielder Maia Monchek (.296), outfielder Lindsey Rains (.289) and catcher Katy McJunkin(.278) follow. Fletcher has driven in eight RBI and launched three home runs, while Rains has added four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI. As a team, the Boilers are batting .307 with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases.

In the circle, the Purdue staff has combined for 67 strikeouts in 80 innings. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (3-4) has done the bulk of the pitching, striking out 42 batters in 42 innings, including six complete games. Junior Lexy Moore (1-3) has added 11 Ks in 15 innings, while senior Lauren Grant has struck out seven batters in 11 innings. Junior Alex Whittemorehas issued seven Ks in 11 innings, including a complete-game no-hitter, and owns a 1.27 ERA.

Series Information
Florida State (FSU leads the series 3-1): The Seminoles have won three of the previous four meetings in the series which began on Feb. 13, 1998 at the Coca-Cola Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. The team faced off three times in 1998 with FSU taking the first two and Purdue winning the third, a 1-0 decision at the FSU Tournament in Tallahassee. The Seminoles won the most recent meeting, a 8-0 victory at the Sunshine Classic on Feb. 15, 2009 in Tallahassee.

Alabama (Alabama leads the series 2-0): The Crimson Tide won both previous meetings with the Boilermakers at the Hampton Inn Bama Bash in 2008. Then No. 4 Alabama took a Feb. 8 contest 8-0 and a Feb. 9 game 11-0.

Houston (The series is tied 1-1): The Boilermakers and Cougars split the previous two meetings of the series. Purdue took a 4-3 win at the Marriott Houston Classic on Feb. 20, 2010, while the Cougars won a 3-1 decision on March 14, 2013.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Florida State on Friday...

• They will move to 6-7-1 on the season.

• They will have defeated their second Top 25 foe of the season (alongside No. 10 Texas) and the 31st in program history. (9 top 10 teams)

• They will move to 126-103-1 all-time in the month of February, including a 4-3 mark on Feb. 28.

• It would move the team's record to 251-181-1 all-time in neutral site non-conference games.

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