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Game Notes: Softball to Host No. 12 Minnesota for Senior Weekend

May 1, 2014


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

Friday, May 2
4 p.m. vs. Minnesota
Break at the Ballpark - $1 tickets for Purdue students. Come take a break from studying for finals and relax at the softball game. De-Stress activities available pregame.

Saturday, May 3
1 p.m. vs. Minnesota
Salute to Service - $1 tickets for all police, fire, military, EMT and hospital staff. Join us in honoring service members from our community with special activities all game long.

Sunday, May 4
Noon vs. Minnesota
Senior Day - Come pack the Boilermaker Softball Complex to help honor our seven fabulous seniors: Tori Chiodo, Danielle Fletcher, Lauren Grant, Maia Monchek, Mary Beth Pavlick, Lindsey Rains & Andie Varsho. It is also your last chance to see a Big Ten game in this stadium as we move to our new home next season.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (25-25-1, 12-5 Big Ten) has won five of its seven Big Ten series and split a sixth. Heading into the final week of conference play, the Boilermakers sit in fifth place. 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 went 1-4 last week, splitting a Wednesday doubleheader with No. 4 Michigan and falling in a three-game series with Wisconsin. The Boilers took the opener with the Wolverines 3-2 and fell 11-0 in the night cap. The Game 1 win over the 4th-ranked Wolverines, matched a Feb. 7, 2009, win over #4 UCLA for the highest ranked foe ever beaten by a Purdue side. Wisconsin took all three games of the weekend series: 2-1, 6-5 and 7-3 to give Purdue its first Big Ten series loss of the season.

Statistically Speaking: Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the Boilermaker bats with a .438 average, 41 runs, 14 doubles and 25 stolen bases. Six other starters are batting .250 or better. Designated player Katy McJunkin (.373), infielder Tori Chiodo (.344), catcher Danielle Fletcher (.340), first baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.335), catcher/outfielder Maia Monchek (.274) and outfielder Lindsey Rains(.250) round out the group. Fletcher has driven in a team-best 40 RBI, while registering 10 home runs and 11 doubles. Burkhardt has driven in 39 RBI and boasts 13 doubles and eight home runs. Chiodo has driven in 37 RBI and scored 30 runs, while also launching eight home runs and stealing seven bases. Rains adds 19 RBI, 24 runs, three homers and 10 steals. As a team, the Boilers are batting .300 with 37 home runs and 61 stolen bases.

In the circle, the Purdue staff has combined for 259 strikeouts in 329 innings. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (19-13) has done the bulk of the pitching, striking out 178 batters in 197 innings, including 25 complete games. Junior Lexy Moore (4-9) has added 49 Ks in 73 innings, while junior Alex Whittemore (2-2) has issued 21 Ks in 41 innings, including a complete-game no-hitter. Senior Lauren Granthas struck out 11 batters in 16 innings.

Series Information
Minnesota (Minnesota leads the series 21-20): The teams split the first 10 meetings in the series which began on April 29, 1995. Minnesota started a four-game win streak in 1998. The Boilermakers won three of the next five from 1999 to 2001. The Gophers won three in a row after that. Since 2004 Purdue has won 12 of the 18 meetings, including five staight from April 24, 2005 to April 14, 2007 and three in a row from March 29, 2009 to May 2, 2010. The teams did not play in 2013, but Minnesota took two of three games in 2012 in Minneapolis. Purdue is 8-12 vs. the Gophers in West Lafayette, 11-8 in Minneapolis and 1-1 in nuetral games.

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

• They will move to 26-25-1 on the season and 13-8 in Big Ten play. The 13 wins will match Purdue's second highest conference win total (13-7 in 2012) and be one game off of the program-best 14-12 mark in 1997.

• They will record their 13th win in the last 19 meetings with Gophers and tie the all-time series at 21.

• They will have won the opener of seven of their eight conference series in 2014.

• They will move to 38-49-1 all-time in the month of May, including a 3-4 mark when playing on May 2.

Getting to Know the Gophers
At First Glance:The No. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers (36-8, 14-5 Big Ten) have won nine of their last 12 games heading into this weekend's games with the Boilermakers. The Gophers return 14 letterwinners from the 2013 team that posted a 36-19 record, finished third in the Big Ten and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota is coached by Jessica Allister, who is in her fourth year with the team.

Last Time Out:The Gophers swept a three-game series with Penn State at home last weekend, taking the games 1-0, 16-2 (5) and 9-0 (5).

Statistically Speaking:Third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson leads the Gopher bats with a .432 average, 43 RBI, 16 doubles, eight home runs and 34 RBI. Shortstop Tyler Walker follows with a .396 average, a team-best 44 runs, 12 doubles, five triples, eight home runs, 40 RBI and a team-leading 14 stolen bases. Pitcher Sara Groenewegen (.290), outfielder Sydney Fabian (.266) and second baseman Erica Meyer (.252) also boast averages of .250 or better. Groenewegen has lifted eight home runs and driven in 34 RBI. Fabian has scored 19 runs and added five doubles and two home runs. Meyer had scored 28 runs, launched five homers and stolen nine bases. As a team, Minnesota is batting .284 with 53 home runs and 61 stolen bases.

Senior Sara Moulton (22-6) and Groenewegen (12-1) have split time in the circle for the Gophers. Moulton boasts a 1.70 ERA with 206 strikeouts, 11 shutouts and a save in 165 innings of action. Groenewegen has issued 143 Ks to go with five shutouts and three saves in 89 innings, and owns a 2.26 ERA. Sophomore lefty Nikki Anderson (2-1) has a 1.63 ERA, 43 strikeouts and one save in 34 innings. The staff is holding foes to a .188 average.

Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 41st nationally in doubles per game (1.47) and 63rd in batting average (.300). Individually, senior Andie Varsho ranks among the national top 50 in batting average (24th with .438), stolen bases per game (44th with 0.49) and on-base percentage (47th with .516). Junior Ashley Burkhardt ranks 17th nationally in sacrifice flies (4). Sophomore pitcher Lilly Fechois 36th nationally in wins (19) and 48th in strikeouts (179).

Climbing the Career Records List
A handful of records are in danger of falling in 2014 as seniors Danielle Fletcher, Andie Varsho, Lindsey Rains and Tori Chiodohave earned spots among the career top fives and are climbing the listings.

Varsho became Purdue's all-time career hits leader on April 5, surpassing Katie Crabtree(1999-2002), who tallied 255. Varsho also ranks second in stolen bases (104), second in runs scored (141), tied for third in triples (11), fourth in doubles (44) and fourth in walks (82). Rains ranks fifth in career steals (74) and is three runs away (133) from the fifth-place spot in runs scored.

Fletcher joined the Top 5 for RBI (4th, 127) and also is in striking distance of the Top 5 in doubles and walks. Varsho is five RBI away from the Top 5 with 115, trailing Crabtree's 120.

For her part, Chiodo is third in career walks with 84.. She also needs just four more defensive assists to reach the top five in that category.

Players are not listed among the career top five in average based categories until their playing careers have ended due to their fluctuating nature. However, senior Andie Varsho has a chance to be listed in three categories based on her stats with two weeks left in the season. Varsho boasts a career batting average of .404, which would be a new program record, ahead of Andrea Hillsey's .374 mark. Varsho's current on-base percentage (.470) would rank second behind Hillsey's record .487 mark. Her slugging percentage of .550 would rank fourth on that listing, behind Katie Mitchell's record .560 mark, Liane Horiuchi's.559 and Crabtree's .557.

In A Season
The 2014 Boilermakers set a new program record for doubles in a season (75). That tally surpasses the 2012 team's record tally of 74.

In addition, senior Tori Chiodo ranks third on the season list for walks (34) and junior Ashley Burkhardt ranks fifth in sacrifice flies (4). Sophomore Lilly Fechoranks fifth in complete games (25).

Three players have a chance to earn spots on the season listings in three average-based categories. Senior Andie Varsho's current batting average of. 438 would rank second behind Andrea Hillsey's record .454 mark. Varsho's current on-base percentage of .516 would rank second on the season listing, while senior Tori Chiodo's .485 on-base percentage would rank fourth. Senior Danielle Fletcher's slugging percentage of .631 would rank fourth in program history.

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