Feb. 7, 2014
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The softball team begins a new era under head coach Kim Schuette as it opens play at the Louisiana Classic tomorrow and Sunday. The Boilermakers take on North Carolina and Northern Iowa tomorrow and No. 10 Texas on Sunday. Purdue returns 17 players, including seven position starters and three starting pitchers, from its 2013 squad. Schuette is in her first season with the Boilermakers after spending the last eight years as head coach at Eastern Illinois.
Senior outfielder Andie Varsho has been selected as one of the top 50 picks on the USA Softball Player of the Year watch list. She boasts a lifetime .392 batting average with 100 runs scored, 10 triples, 99 RBI, 79 stolen bases, a .530 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage.
Talking Track and Field
The women's track and field team remained No. 14 in the national poll this week, its highest listing in program history. The men's squad moved up one spot to No. 31.
Individually, senior Dani Bunch and sophomore Chukwuebuka Enekwechi picked up Big Ten weekly honors once again. Bunch tied the conference record by winning her fourth award in as many weeks. She now has five for the season and six for her career, both one shy of Ohio State sprinter Christina Manning's records. On Friday at the Findlay Invite, Bunch set the Purdue shot put record at 17.19 meters (56-4.75) and also won the weight throw at 21.98 meters (72-1.25). She has won all 10 events she has competed in this season.
Enekwechi won his fourth Big Ten weekly award of the season and of his career, both the most ever by a Purdue male indoor track and field student-athlete. The Big Ten record for most honors in a season is five by Ohio State thrower Dan Taylor in 2004. Taylor also has the conference record for most in a career with eight. Enekwechi had a career day in the weight throw at the Findlay Invite, setting the school record with the best throw in the world this season at 23.62 meters (77-6).
Sophomore Coy Blair finished tied for third in the shot put with a season-best distance of 18.40 meters (60-4.5). In the weight throw, Blair set a personal best with a mark of 19.48 meters (63-11.0).
The runners compete at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind., today and tomorrow.
Men's Swimming and Diving Faces Indiana
The Governor's Cup is deadlocked at five points apiece, and a point is on the line tomorrow when the No. 23 Purdue (7-3, 4-3 B1G) and No. 7 Indiana (5-4, 1-1) men's swimmers and divers square off in Bloomington. The meet will begin at 11 a.m. ET and be televised by BTN. David Boudia, 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Purdue, will provide the diving analysis.
Senior Night for Wrestling
No. 24 wrestling (6-6, 1-6 B1G) has its final home meet of the season at 7 tonight against No. 18 Illinois (7-6, 1-5) at Holloway Gymnasium. Seniors Camden Eppert, Kyle Mosier, Cashé Quiroga, Alex White and Andy Wiseman will be recognized. Six Boilermakers, including Eppert, will compete at the Edinboro Open tomorrow, looking to enhance their NCAA Championships resume.
The Boilermakers won at Indiana 18-16 on Friday for their fourth straight victory over the Hoosiers and then took No. 12 Ohio State to the limit Monday before falling 16-15. Eppert, Quiroga and junior Brandon Nelsen posted upset victories against the Buckeyes.
The men's basketball team won the first-ever triple overtime game in the 47-year history of Mackey Arena on Wednesday, defeating Minnesota 77-74. It marked Purdue's first triple overtime game since Dec. 3, 1983, a 67-58 win at Miami (Ohio). The Boilermakers have won three straight triple-overtime games. Tomorrow, Purdue (14-9, 4-6 B1G) travels to Ohio State (18-5, 5-5).
More Weekend Action
No. 30 women's tennis (2-1) plays host to Georgia State at 3 p.m. today and No. 28 Tulsa at noon Sunday at the Schwartz Tennis Center ... No. 18 women's swimming competes at the Ohio State Winter Invite tomorrow and Sunday ... Men's golf takes part in its Alumni Match in Bonita Springs, Fla., tomorrow and Sunday ... No. 25 women's basketball (16-7, 6-5 B1G) plays at Michigan (15-8, 6-4) on Sunday after defeating Ohio State 74-58 on Thursday in its first game without injured senior guard KK Houser ... Men's tennis (2-1) visits Arkansas on Sunday.
Football Season Tickets on Sale
Season tickets for Purdue football went on sale this week. The easiest way to renew or order is online, and fans that do will save $10. To renew season tickets, click here, and to purchase new season tickets, click here. For fans who want to renew or order season tickets in-person or via phone, the Athletics Ticket Office in Mackey Arena is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 765-494-3194 or 800-49-SPORT. The priority deadline to renew tickets is April 30.
Football Signing Day
The deadline to register for the Mollenkopf/Keyes Classic on Feb. 16 in Naples, Fla., has been extended to 5 p.m. ET today. Click here for more information ... On Monday, Feb. 17, the women's basketball team will partner with Buffalo Wild Wings at 360 Brown Street in Lafayette to raise money for the Smith Family Break Thru Fund to find a cure for Niemann-Pick Disease. All day, 15 percent of all pre-taxed food sales will be donated. The women's basketball team will be on hand at 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with the Sharon Versyp Radio Show at 7:10 p.m. ... Former Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen will participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, which runs Feb. 22 to 25.