Game Notes: at No. 14 Michigan

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The Boilermakers kick off conference play this weekend in Ann Arbor, facing off with No. 14 Michigan in a three-game set.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The Boilermakers kick off conference play this weekend in Ann Arbor, facing off with No. 14 Michigan in a three-game set.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 20, 2013

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
Wilpon Complex ~ Ann Arbor, Mich.
Friday, March 22: 4 p.m. at Michigan Saturday, March 23: 2 p.m. at Michigan
Sunday, March 24: 1 p.m. at Michigan

Live Stats: purduesports.com
Video ($): http://bit.ly/SMrqZk

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (11-15) returns 15 players from its 2012 squad which posted a 31-22 mark, including a 13-10 Big Ten mark and sixth-place conference finish. Eight position starters and three starting pitchers return, while five newcomers join the roster. The Boilermakers are coached by Kim Maher, who is her eighth year with the team.

The Last Meeting
Purdue0
Michigan8
May 12, 2012
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Softball Suffers First Shutout in Regular Season Finale
The No. 22 Michigan Wolverines handed the Purdue softball team its first shutout of the season with an 8-0 loss in the regular season finale.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers went 0-3 last week, falling in both games of a Tuesday doubleheader at Sam Houston State, 5-2 and 3-2, and dropping a 3-1 contest at Houston on Thursday.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers are batting .253 on the season, led by a group of four battters hitting .250 or better. Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the way with a .402 average, 14 RBI, 13 runs and 12 stolen bases. Second baseman Ashley Burkhardt boasts a .353 average with a team-best 19 runs, eight RBI and 10 steals. Shortstop/designated player Mary Gooding (.293) and third baseman CJ Parsons (.257) round out the group. Outfielder Lindsey Rains (.247) and catcher Danielle Fletcher (.225) are not far behind. Fletcher has driven in a team-best 14 RBI and tallied a team-leading nine extra base hits, including two home runs. Rains has scored 15 runs, and also boasts one home run and eight stolen bases. The Boilermakers are 55-for-68 in stolen base attempts.

Four pitchers are splitting time in the circle for Purdue. The group has combined for a 2.47 ERA and 105 strikeouts. Freshman Lilly Fecho (5-8) has struck out 50 batters in 76 innings, including five complete games and a save. Sophomore Lexy Moore (3-6) has struck out 39 batters in 59 innings, including a shutout, while sophomore Alex Whittemore (1-0) has struck out 12 in 19 innings and boasts a 0.74 ERA. Senior Erika Petruzzi has issued four Ks in 15 innings of work, including a shutout.

Series Information
Michigan (Michigan leads the series 39-2): The Wolverines won the first nine games in the series, which began on March 25, 1995. Purdue ended the streak with a 3-1 win in West Lafayette on April 7, 1997. Michigan took the next 17 games, including two extra-inning affairs, before the Boilermakers posted a 5-4 win in Ann Arbor on April 9, 2006. Michigan has won the last 13 games. Purdue is 1-23 at home vs. the Wolverines and 1-16 in Ann Arbor. The team have played three extra-inning games.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top No. 14 Michigan on Friday...

• They will move to 12-15 on the season and snap a six-game losing streak.

• They will win their Big Ten opener for the third straight season, for the sixth time in eight seasons under Coach Maher and the 12th time in program history.

• They will have posted their first win over a ranked foe in 2013 in nine tries and first win over a Top 25 team since defeating No. 23 Louisiana Lafayette on March 23, 2010.

• They will move to 247-160-2 all-time in the month of March, including a 10-0 mark on March 22.

• It would move the team's record to 77-108-1 all-time in conference road games, including a 32-36-1 record under Coach Maher.

Words About The Wolverines
At First Glance: The No. 14 Michigan Wolverines (21-7) begin a four-game homestand when they play host to the Boilermakers to kick off Big Ten play this weekend. The Wolverines return 14 letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2012 team that posted a 42-12 record, won its fifth-straight Big Ten title and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Michigan is coached by Carol Hutchins, who is in her 29th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Wolverines posted a 4-1 record at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., last weekend. Michigan topped No. 18 Washington (6-1), No. 2 Arizona State (5-4), No. 14 Arizona (9-1 6 innings) and North Carolina State (1-0 8 innings). UM fell to Virginia Tech 3-2 in its second game of the tournament.

Statistically Speaking: Seven Wolverine players are batting .300 or better and nine starters are batting .250 or better. Infielder Amy Knapp (.380), infielder Sierra Romero (.355), second baseman Ashley Lane (.333), outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (.322), catcher Caitlin Blanchard (.316) and utility player Sierra Lawrence (.315) make up the initial group. Outfielder Jaclyn Crummey (.400) and infielder Taylor Hasselbach (.313) also boast averages of .300 or better in limited action. Romero has posted a team-best 17 extra-base hits, including eight home runs, while driving in 26 RBI and scoring 25 runs. Lane has chipped in six home runs and 16 RBI, while Lawrence has added three home runs and 13 RBI. Pitcher Sara Driesenga (.264) has driven in 25 RBI and launched two home runs. Sappingfield has scored a team-best 26 runs along with outfielder Lyndsey Doyle (.276). As a team, Michigan is batting .303 with 21 home runs and 37 stolen bases.

Driesenga (16-5) leads the Wolverine pitchers with 124 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA in 128 innings of action, including two shutouts and a save. Sophomore lefty Haylie Wagner (4-1) has added 23 Ks in 32 innings of work, while boasting a 1.52 ERA, a shutout and a save. Senior Stephanie Speierman (1-0) and freshman Alice Fitzpatrick (0-1) have combnined for 14 strikeouts in 23 innings.

In The National Statistics
In the NCAA softball statistical rankings released March 18, the Boilermakers boast two spots among the Top 50 as a team and also have a pair of individuals in the listings as well.

As a team, Purdue has swiped 2.08 stolen bases per game, ranking 15th nationally. The Boilermakers have posted a .972 fielding percentage, good for 30th in the nation.

Individually, freshman pitcher Lilly Fecho has allowed just 1.10 walks per seven innings, ranking 22nd in the category. Junior outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 41st in hit by pitch per game (0.31), while junior Andie Varsho ranks 51st in triples with two.