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Game Notes: Softball Set for Weekend Series With Indiana

April 3, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



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The Slate
Boilermaker Softball Complex - West Lafayette, Ind.
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Radio: Listen

Friday, April 4
4 p.m. vs. Indiana - All-4-1 Day: All tickets are just $1.

Saturday, April 5
1 p.m. vs. Indiana - Boiler Blackout: All fans are encouraged to wear black as we battle the Hoosiers

Sunday, April 6
Noon vs. Indiana - Youth Team Day: Tickets are just $1 for youth eighth grade and under when they wear their youth team jersey.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (18-17-1) will play its first true home series of the season after acting as the designated visiting team in last weekend's series vs. Michigan State in West Lafayette. 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 won the season series with Michigan State 2-1 in a weather-relocated trio of games in West Lafayette. Purdue extended its win streak to seven games with a 10-1 win on Friday, but split Sunday's doubleheader, falling 6-3 but rebounding with a 10-1 win. Purdue was the host institution, but acted as the visiting team in the series.

Statistically Speaking: Outfielder Andie Varsho (.486) leads the Boilermaker bats with a .486 average, 32 runs, 13 doubles and 17 stolen bases. Six other starters are batting .250 or better. Catcher Danielle Fletcher (.380), designated player Katy McJunkin (.359), first baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.345), infielder Tori Chiodo (.333), catcher/outfielder Maia Monchek (.276) and outfielder Lindsey Rains (.262) round out the group. Burkhardt has driven in a team-best 30 RBI and boasts nine doubles and seven home runs. Fletcher has added seven homers and 26 RBI. Chiodo has driven in 24 RBI and scored 22 runs, while also launching four home runs and stealing seven bases. Rains adds 18 RBI, 15 runs and two homers. Second baseman Mary Gooding (.255) and shortstop Kristen Hoppman (.255) are also batting above .250 with limited at-bats. As a team, the Boilers are batting .312 with 24 home runs and 46 stolen bases.

In the circle, the Purdue staff has combined for 199 strikeouts in 233 innings. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (13-9) has done the bulk of the pitching, striking out 135 batters in 134 innings, including 18 complete games. Junior Lexy Moore (3-7) has added 39 Ks in 54 innings, while junior Alex Whittemore has issued 14 Ks in 27 innings, including a complete-game no-hitter. Senior Lauren Granthas struck out 11 batters in 16 innings.

Series Information
Indiana (Purdue leads the series 25-17): The Hoosiers won seven of the first eight games in the series with the Boilermakers which beganon March 26, 1994. Purdue snapped the streak on April 15, 1998, and went on to win 10 of the next 11 through May 3, 2003, with two five-game streaks. The teams split the next eight games, but the Boilers put together a six-game win streak from May 5, 2007 to May 9, 2009. Indiana countered with five of the next six, but Purdue has taken each of the last four games. Purdue is 11-6 against IU in West Lafayette and 14-11 in Bloomington.

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

• They will move to 19-17-1 on the season and their current win streak to two games. Purdue has won eight of its last nine games heading into the weekend.

• They will extend their current win streak against the Hoosiers to five games.

• It would move the team's record to 186-139 all-time in home games, including a 85-112 record in conference contests.

• They will move to 215-199-2 all-time in the month of April, including a 3-8 mark when playing on April 4.

An Inkling About Indiana
At First Glance:The Indiana Hoosiers (9-24-1, 1-5 Big Ten) played a Tuesday game against Indiana State in Bloomington, before heading to West Lafayette for the weekend's Big Ten series. The Hoosiers return 14 letterwinners, including seven starters and three pitchers, from the 2013 team that posted a 19-35 record and finished 12th in the Big Ten. Indiana is coached by Michelle Gardner, who is in her sixth year with the team.

Last Time Out:Indiana went 1-2 in its Big Ten series with Ohio State in Bloomington last weekend. The Hoosiers took the first game 11-7, but fell 12-2 and 10-2 both in five innings in a Sunday doubleheader. IU lost a 7-5 contest to Indiana State on Tuesday.

Statistically Speaking:Shortstop Breanna Saucedo paces the Hoosier offense with a .333 average, 20 runs, two triples and 12 stolen bases. Four other IU players are batting .250 or better. Outfielder Natalie Lalich (.283), designated player Katelyn Conenna (.273), first baseman Kassi Farmer (.270) and outfielder Jenna Abraham (.270) make up the group. Farmer has driven in a team-best 14 RBI with six home runs and six doubles, and has scored 18 runs. Abraham has added 13 runs, a triple and two home runs. Outfielder Michelle Huber (.222) has added 13 RBI and two homers, while catcher/infielder CaraMia Tsirigos (.207) has accounted for 10 RBI and two long balls. As a team, Indiana is batting .239 with 17 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

Junior Lora Olson (4-10), sophomore Brooke Boetjer (3-5) and senior Meaghan Murphy (2-9) have split the pitching duties for the Hooisers. Olson has struck out 61 batters in 86 innings, including three complete games. Murphy has added 59 Ks in 60 innings with three complete games, while Boetjer has chipped in 56 Ks in 67 innings and picked up two saves. The IU staff is allowing opponents to hit at a .325 clip with 39 home runs.

McJunkin Named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week
Freshman designated player Katy McJunkinwas named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week alongside Minnesota's Sara Groenewegen. McJunkin led the Purdue bats with a .667 average, including a .727 on-base percentage, 1.000 slugging percentage and three RBI against Michigan State last weekend. In the series opener, the freshman went 3-for-3, including the game-winning RBI triple in the fourth inning. She added a hit and a walk in Game 1 of Sunday's twin bill and finished the weekend with a 2-for-4 effort including a double and two runs in the finale.

The Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor is the first for McJunkin and the first for Purdue since pitcher Lexy Moorewas so honored on April 2, 2012. It is the third weekly award for a Boilermaker in 2014.

Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 18th nationally in doubles per game (1.64) and 34th in batting average (.312). Individually, senior Andie Varsho ranks among the national top 60 in three categories: batting average (7th with .486), on-base percentage (8th with .570), doubles per game (32nd with 0.36) and stolen bases (60th with 0.47 per game). Junior Ashley Burkahrdt ranks fourth nationally in sacrifice flies (4). Senior Maia Monchek ranks 38th in sacrifice bunts per game (0.25). Sophomore pitcher Lilly Fecho is 26th nationally in strikeouts (136) and 38th in wins (13).

Climbing the Career Records List
A handful of records are in danger of falling in 2014 as seniors Danielle Fletcher and Andie Varsho already own spots among the career Top 5 and Lindsey Rains is approaching the Top 5 in two categories. Varsho tied the school record for career hits (255), matching Katie Crabtree (1999-2002). She ranks fifth in runs scored (132) and also is now tied for fifth in walks (79). Rains is six runs away (126) from the matching Varsho's fifth-place run output and two steals (71) out of the Top 5. Fletcher is in striking distance of the Top 5 in doubles, RBI and walks. Fletcher and Varsho each need four more RBI to tie the fifth place mark of 117 held by Tricia Lilly (2003-2006).  


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