Feb. 9, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker softball team kicks off its 2010 season in sunny Tempe, Ariz., for the Kajikawa Classic. Purdue will face off with No. 6 Arizona as well as San Diego State, Cal State Northridge, Portland State and North Dakota State at the tournament.
Notes About The Kajikawa Classic
Twenty-five teams from around the country will compete in the 2010 ASU Kajikawa Classic, Feb. 11-14. Five ranked teams - No. 1 Washington, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 6 Arizona, No. 12 California and No. 15 Northwestern - will particpate in the tournament. The tournament will be played on five fields in Tempe, Ariz., including ASU's home field.
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue made its second straight NCAA Regional appearance in 2009 after posting its best conference mark since 1997 (12-8) and finishing sixth in Big Ten play. The Boilermaker squad advanced to the Regional Championship game, recorded five wins over Top 25 foes and faced off against 12 members of the NCAA field en route to a 31-20 record. The 2010 Purdue roster includes eight returning players, including three All-Big Ten selections, and eight newcomers. The Boilermakers are coached by Kim Maher, who is her fifth year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Boilermakers wrapped up the 2009 season with a 2-2 showing at the NCAA Regionals in Louisville, Ky. Purdue dropped its opening game with No. 19 Louisville, 4-1, but rebounded with a pair of elimination game wins over UT Martin (6-2) and Louisville (5-4), before falling in the Regional Championship game with No. 6 Arizona 4-2. The two postseason wins marked a program first, while the team also posted its 11th-straight 30 win season, going 31-20.
Statistically Speaking: Third baseman Liane Horiuchi paced the Boilermaker offense with a .348 average, while also racking up a team-best 43 runs, 23 extra base hits and 25 RBI. She also posted a school-record 42-for-42 effort on the basepaths and a .500 on-base percentage. Outfielder Molly Garst (.301), catcher Jenna Alexander (.260) and catcher/designated player Shelby Krammer (.250) also return after batting above .250. Garst swiped 25 bases and scored 25 runs, while Alexander added 23 RBI and 12 doubles. As a team, the Boilermakers batted .255 with 29 home runs and 100 stolen bases, second most in program history.
In the circle, Suzie Rzegocki (24-12) boasted a 1.48 ERA and recorded 187 strikeouts in 237 innings, including 24 complete games and six shutouts. Katie Hackney saw action in one contest during her rookie season. The Boilermakers will look to the pair as well as freshmen Erika Petruzzi and Julia Rice to lead the team on the mound.
San Diego State (Purdue leads the series 1-0): The Boilermakers won the lone previous meeting with the Aztecs, taking a 4-3 decision on Feb. 25, 2000 at the UC Santa Barbara tournament.
Arizona (Arizona leads the series 1-0): The Wildcats took the lone previous meeting via 4-2 victory in the NCAA Regional championship game on May 17, 2009 in Louisville, Ky.
Portland State (PSU leads the series 2-0): The Vikings have won both previous meetings with the Boilermakers in the series which began on March 1, 2003 at the Worth Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. Portland State won that contest 5-1, then topped the Boilermaekrs 4-1 at the 2006 UNLV Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
Cal State Northridge: This is the first meeting between the Boilermakers and the Matadors.
North Dakota State: This is the first meeting between the Boilermakers and the Bison.
All About The Aztecs
At First Glance: The San Diego State Aztecs, picked to finished second in the Mountain West Conference, kick off their 2010 season against the Boilermakers at the Kajikawa Classic.The Aztecs posted a 33-20 record, including a second place finish in MWC play and an NCAA Regional appearance last year. SDSU returns to Tempe, Ariz., to start the season after competing in the Tempe Regional to end 2009. The Aztec roster features 13 returning letterwinners, including nine starters, and six newcomers. SDSU is coached by Kathy Van Wyk, who is in her 14th year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Aztecs wrapped up their 2009 campaign with a pair of losses in the NCAA Tempe Regional. SDSU fell to No. 9 Arizona State 5-0 and Cal State Fullerton 8-2.
Statistically Speaking: Outfielder Brittany Knudsen (.317) is the top returning hitter, having posted a .317 average with 13 doubles, a team-best 22 runs and 11 stolen bases in 2009. Outfielder Felicia Reifschneider (.254) and catcher/outfielder Traci Wolf (.254) follow. Reifschneider added 21 runs and nine steals, while Wolf tallied 15 runs. Utility player Jessica Camello (.248), first baseman Monica Alnes (.224) and shortstop Jen Wisneski (.218) also return, with Alnes adding 20 RBI and nine extra base hits and Wisneski chipping in 16 RBI and five extra base knocks. As a team, SDSU batted .259 with just 12 home runs and 58 stolen bases.
Bailey Micetich (19-7) and Samantha Beasley (14-13) are back in the circle after combining for a 1.91 ERA and 407 strikeouts a year ago. Micetich owned a 1.70 ERA and struck out 180 batters, while Beasley posted a 2.12 ERA with 227 Ks. The pair also combined for 18 shutouts, including seven solo efforts apiece.
All About Arizona
At First Glance: The No. 6 Arizona Wildcats, eight time NCAA Champions, open the 2010 season against Western Michigan on Friday. The Wildcats return 10 players from the 2009 team, which earned the program's 23rd straight NCAA Regional appearance and advanced to the Women's College World Series. UA posted a 46-17 mark, including a 13-7 showing in Pac-10 play. Arizona is coached by Mike Candrea, who is in his 25th year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Wildcats advanced to the WCWS after taking two of three games with No. 5 Stanford in the Super Regionals. Once in Oklahoma City, Arizona fell to No. 1 Florida 3-0 and No. 4 Alabama 14-0 to end its season.
Statistically Speaking: Brittany Lastrapes paces the Arizona offense with a .481 average and leads a group of five Wildcat players with average of .300 or better. Lastrapes scored a team-best 79 runs, drove in 64 RBI and tallied 19 doubles and 17 home runs. Outfielder Lauren Schutzler (.421), catcher Stacie Chambers (.358), catcher Lini Koria (.329) and shortstop K'Lee Arredondo (.345) round out the group. Chambers launched a team-best 31 home runs and accounted for 96 RBI, while Koria and Arredondo have tallied 12 and 13 long balls respectively. As a team, Arizona batted .339 with 134 home runs in 2009.
Senior Sarah Akamine (22-8) is the lone returning hurler for the Wildcats. Akamine boasted a staff-best 2.52 ERA with 136 strikeouts in 186 innings, including nine complete games, a shutout and two saves.
A View of the Vikings
At First Glance: The Portland State Vikings kick off their 2010 season against Ohio on Thursday. PSU posted a 29-26 overall record in 2009, including a Pacific Coast Softball Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals. The Vikings return 10 letterwinners including seven starters from that team, while adding eight newcomers to the mix. Portland State is coached by Tobin Echo-Hawk, who is in her second season with the team.
Last Time Out: The Vikings wrapped up their 2009 season with a pair of losses in the Stanford Regional. PSU fell to No. 5 Stanford 10-3 and Cal Poly 5-0 in the NCAAs to cap their campaign.
Statistically Speaking: Four players return after hitting .250 or better in 2009. Shortstop Arielle Wiser headlines the group with a .307 average, including 29 runs, eight doubles and nine stolen bases. Catcher/designated player Brandi Scoggins (.282), infielder De'Chaun Skinner (.266) and utility player Brandi Campos (.261) round out the group. Scoggins tallied 28 runs and 10 extra-base hits, while Skinner added 11 runs and Campos chipped in five doubles. PSU batted .286 with 32 home runs and 54 stolen bases in 2009.
Four of the team's five pitchers return from the 2009 squad. Tori Rogers (11-6) and Nichole Latham (16-13) did the bulk of the pitching, combining for 234 of the team's 260 strikeouts in 295 innings of work. Rogers boasted a 2.49 ERA and struck out 89 in 107 innings of work, while Latham owned a 2.83 ERA with 145 Ks in 188 innings of action. Kendra Suhr and Carrie O'Neil saw limited action for the team. Suhr (1-2) struck out 12 in 28 innings, while O'Neil (0-1) K'ed four in 10 innings.
News About Cal State Northridge
At First Glance: The Cal State Northridge Matadors open their season against North Dakota State and Northwestern before facing off with the Boilermakers. Northridge returns 13 letterwinners, including eight starters, from the 2009 team which posted a 29-21 mark, including a fourth place finish in Big West play. The squad, which received votes in the NFCA preseason poll, also welcomes four newcomers to the mix.
Last Time Out: The Matadors wrapped up their 2009 season with a pair of wins over UC Davis to end Big West action. The victories snapped a four-game losing skid.
Statistically Speaking: Four players return after hitting .250 or better in 2009. First baseman Jaclyn Rymer (.319) and outfielder Christina Saenz (.303) lead the way. Rymer scored a team-best 31 runs and swiped 120 bases, while Saenz added 24 RBI, tops among returners. Infielder Tracy Allen (.273)and outfielder Alexandria Alvarado (.268) round out the group. Alvarado accounted for 11 doubles and 18 RBI, while Allen contributed 24 runs and eight steals to the team's tally. Infielder Karla Chaparro also is a threat on the bases with a team-leading 11 steals. As a team, Northridge batted .243 with nine home runs and 62 stolen bases in 2009.
Deborah Duran (18-12), Hannah Fraijo (7-4) and Amanda Pitzenberger (4-2) all return to the circle. Duran bosted a team-best 2.43 ERA and struck out 79 in 176 innings of work. Fraigo owned a 2.64 ERA and K'ed 51 in 90 innings, while Pitzenberger issued 20 strikeouts in 58 innings with a 2.78 ERA.
A Bit About The Bison
At First Glance: The North Dakota State Bison are receiving votes in the NFCA Top 25 after advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals a year ago. NDSU reuturns 10 letterwinners, including seven starters, from the 2009 team which posted a 38-20 mark including a second place finish in Summit League play. The Bison are in their ninth year under head coach Darren Mueller.
Last Time Out: The Bison won the Norman, Okla., Regional to advance to the Super Regionals, but dropped a pair of games to Arizona State, 3-0 and 11-0, to end the season.
Statistically Speaking: Eight of NDSU's top nine batters return, seven of which batted .250 or better last season. First baseman Melissa Chmielewski (.351) and outfielder Elisa Victa (.347) lead the way. Chmielewski accounted for 51 RBI, 14 doubles and 10 home runs, while Victa scored a team-best 35 runs. Shortstop Nicole Rivera (.280), outfielder Richel Briones (.272), infielder Breanna Konz (.271), outfielder Taylor Lynn (.259), second baseman Laurel Pipkin (.256) and infielder Taylor Mortensen (.247) also are back on the field. Rivera swiped 18 bases in 2009, while Lynn added 10 steals. As a team, the Bison batted .281 with 26 home runs and 61 stolen bases.
Sophomore Randi Parks (2-3) is the lone returning hurler for the Bison, having posted a 6.42 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 40 innings last year. The team looks to replace Andi Padilla (26-12) and Kim Westerndorf (10-5) with a pair of rookies, Whitney Johnson and Christina Rayner.
What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top San Diego State on Friday ...
They will have won their seventh season opener in the last 11 attempts, including a 3-2 mark under head coach Kim Maher.
They will move to 2-0 all-time against San Diego State and 8-8 all-time against Big West opponents.
They will move to 89-76 all-time when playing in the month of February.
The Boilermaker roster features eight newcomers. Sophomore Kayla Yates and junior Aimee Gingerich as well as six freshmen make up the group. With just eight returning players, the newbies will be counted on to round out the Boilermaker lineup. "Our new athletes are going to have to contribute and will dictate what happens this season," head coach Kim Maher said before the season.
Assistant coach Monica Tantlinger joined the coaching staff this summer after Linda Garza departed to become the head coach at Wright State.
Racking Up The Mileage
As is typical for northern based softball teams, the Boilermakers will head south and west to get in some early season games. With trips to Tempe, Ariz., Houston and Louisville, Ky., as well as Long Beach and Fullerton, Calif., the team will log more than 10,000 miles, clocking in at 10,160 miles of distance traveled during five non-conference tournament stops.
A Tough Slate
Purdue is slated to face eight foes ranked in the NFCA preseason poll in 2010, including defending national champion and top ranked Washington. The Boilermakers will take on their first ranked opponent on opening day as they face No. 6 Arizona at the ASU Kajikawa Classic, Feb. 12 in Tempe, Ariz.
No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Arizona State, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 15 Northwestern, No. 22 Louisville and No. 25 Louisiana-Lafayette also make the Boilermaker slate. Six other Purdue foes are receiving votes in the preseason poll: Notre Dame, Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Iowa, Cal State Northridge and Houston.
Pitcher Suzie Rzegocki entered the Purdue career top five for strikeouts. In just two seasons, the Lemont, Ill., native has issued 312 Ks, taking over the fifth-place slot, previously held by Nicole Crouse (1999-2002), who racked up 310 strikeouts. Rzegocki sit 136 Ks behind Sheryl Scheve's fourth-place mark of 448 recorded from 1996-1998.
Outfielder Ashley Barr is within striking distance of the career listing for sacrifice bunts with 35. She needs just eight in 2010 to enter the top five.
A Smooth Criminal
With two steals against Penn State on April 25, Liane Horiuchi snapped the single-season stolen base record of 36 set by third baseman Ashley Hall in 2007. Horiuchi was a perfect 42-for-42 on the basepaths, a mark which led Purdue and the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally. The Wahiawá, Hawaii, native needs just 19 stolen bases to enter the Purdue career top five.
Among The Nation's Best
In 2009, two Boilermakers players earned spots among the nation's top 50 in several statistical categories. Third baseman Liane Horiuchi ranked fourth nationally in hit by pitch per game (0.41) and fifth in stolen bases per game (0.82). Pitcher Suzie Rzegocki ranked 36th in ERA (1.48).
As a team, the Boilermakers rank 13th in stolen bases per game (1.96). Purdue also ranked among the national Top 50 in defensive double plays per game (29th with 0.41) and fielding percentage (50th with .967). The team also sat 51st in earned run average (2.34).
A Banner Year
After earning its first NCAA Regional berth in 2008, the Boilermaker softball team set its sights set on a return trip to the postseason. Purdue did just that, finishing sixth in the Big Ten standings after posting a double-digit conference win tally for the fifth time in program history.
The Boilermakers put together a nice resume in 2009, knocking off four Top 25 ranked teams and posting eight wins over the RPI Top 50. Purdue, which faced 11 NCAA Regional competitors, knocked off No. 4 UCLA to start the 2009 season, then added wins over No. 18 Texas A&M, No 10 Northwestern and No. 14 Ohio State. The Boilermakers won seven of their last 11 games, including victories over the Wildcats and Buckeyes.
Purdue took on 12 teams which advanced to the NCAA Regionals, all of which were listed in the RPI top 50: UCLA (4), Michigan (8), Northwestern (11), Ohio State (12), Florida State (14), Georgia Tech (19), Iowa (24), Illinois (29), Auburn (30), Texas A&M (32), Jacksonville State (34) and Mississippi State (39). The Boilermakers faced off with six teams currently ranked in the NFCA Top 25: No. 3 UCLA, No. 8 Michigan, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 16 Florida State and No. 21 Georgia Tech.
In the postseason, Purdue knocked off No. 19 Louisville to boost its tally of ranked wins to five on the season. The Boilermakers recorded two NCAA Regional wins, marking a program first. The team's season ended at 31-20 after a loss to No. 6 Arizona in the final game of the Louisville, Ky., Regional.
Taking One For The Team
The 2009 Boilermakers were plunked a school record 45 times, surpassing the previous hit by pitch record of 37 posted by the 2005 team. Liane Horiuchi was hit 21 times, tying the single-season record mark set by Tricia Lilley in 2006.
In the Record Books
In addition to setting the school record for team hit by pitch, the 2009 Boilermakers earned spots on the single-season top five lists for stolen bases (2nd with 100), sacrifice flies (3rd with 13), fielding percentage (3rd with .967), home runs (5th with 29), ERA (5th with 2.34) and winning percentage (3rd with .607).
Individually, pitcher Suzie Rzegocki has made the greatest impact on the single-season lists, ranking among the top five in six categories. Rzegocki ranks third in wins (24), innings pitched (237.0), strikeouts (187) and complete games (24), fourth in ERA (1.48), winning percentage (.667) and starts (36), and fifth in shutouts (6). Infielder Liane Horiuchi set the stolen base record (42) and also ranks third in on-base percentage (.500), fourth in slugging percentage (.624) and fifth in triples (4). Infielder Candace Curtis tallied 14 doubles, ranking fifth on the career list. First baseman Katie Mitchell launched 12 home runs, good for second on the single-season list, behind her own record mark of 14. Outfielder Molly Garst swiped 25 bases, tying her for third in that category.
The Boilermaker softball team recorded the 500th win in program history with a 7-1 victory over Valparaiso in Game 1 of the April 16, 2009, doubleheader. Purdue owns a 509-409-4 all-time record, including a 129-105-1 mark under head coach Kim Maher.
Tale of the Century
Head coach Kim Maher reached the 100-win milestone for her career as the Boilermakers topped Pacific 8-1 on Feb. 8., 2009 Purdue is 129-105-1 in her four-year tenure at the helm. In her time at Purdue, the Boilermakers have defeated seven Top 25 foes and have beaten all 10 Big Ten opponents.
The Boilermakers kicked off the 2009 campaign by doing something no other Purdue softball team had before, topping No. 4 UCLA 2-1 on Feb. 7. Prior to the contest, Purdue was 0-18 against Top 5 teams in program history. The victory surpasses wins over No. 7 Baylor in 2008 and No. 7 Texas in 1999 for the mark of highest ranked foe ever defeated by a Boilermaker side.