Home Sweet Home

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The second half of the season begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday when the Boilermakers open their home campaign against Miami (Ohio).
The second half of the season begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday when the Boilermakers open their home campaign against Miami (Ohio).

March 23, 2010

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With 27 games under its belt, the Boilermakers softball team will finally get a chance to play on its home field as Purdue opens its home season at 3 p.m. Wednesday against Miami (Ohio). Opening day festivities include several specials at the concession stand including small popcorn, hotdogs, cracker jacks or peanuts for just $1.

Multimedia Information
Live audio of the game with Miami (Ohio) will be broadcast on WSHY 1410 AM and on purduesports.com. To access the internet broadcast, click the Listen link located next to the contest on the schedule located on the front page of purduesports.com or on the softball schedule page. For live statistics from the game, click the GameTracker link located in the aforementioned locations.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (11-16) enters the second half of season after an up-and-down tournamemt slate. The Boilermakers have taken on eight ranked foes thus far in 2010, with their roster of eight returning players, including three All-Big Ten selections, and eight newcomers. Purdue made its second straight NCAA Regional appearance in 2009, advancing to the Regional Championship game, after posting its best conference mark since 1997 (12-8) and finishing sixth in Big Ten play, The Boilermakers are coached by Kim Maher, who is her fifth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers went 3-5 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., last week. Purdue topped New Mexico and host Cal State Fullerton to open the tournament and knocked off No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. The team also faced off with ranked foes in #24 Louisville, #7 Arizona State and No. 1 Washington, as well as UNLV and Utah at the event.

Statistically Speaking: Third baseman Molly Garst leads the Boilermakers at the plate with a .380 average, including 21 runs, 10 extra base hits and 22 stolen bases. Second baseman Ashley Courtney has turned in a .381 average with seven doubles, eight runs and eight RBI in 15 games of action. Catcher/first baseman Jenna Alexander and shortstop Liane Horiuchi also are batting over .300 at .338 and .319 respectively. Alexander has accounted for 17 RBI and four home runs, while Horiuchi has scored a team-best 27 runs, launched five home runs and added 21 steals. Outfielder Ashley Barr (.293), outfielder Maia Monchek (.259), pitcher/designated player Erika Petruzzi (.258) and outfielder Liz Allum (.250) follow. Monchek has driven in a team-leading 19 RBI and tallied three triples. Catcher/first baseman Shelby Krammer (.203) and Allum each have lifted three home runs. As a team, Purdue is batting .282 with 20 home runs and 62 stolen bases.

In the circle, junior Suzie Rzegocki (7-11) has struck out 101 batters in 117 innings of work, while tossing 13 complete games and picking up two saves. Petruzzi (3-3) has issued 14 Ks in 40 innings. Rookie Julia Rice (1-2) has struck out six in 19 innings, while sophomore Katie Hackney has racked up three Ks in four innings for the Boilermakers.

Series Information
Miami (Ohio) (Purdue leads the series 9-0-1): The Boilermakers have won nine of the 10 meetings with the Redhawks, with the lone except being a 3-3 rain-shortened tie on March 23, 2007. Purdue took the first six contests in the series which began with a March 22, 1995 doubleheader in West Lafayette, and have won three meetings since.the tie. Five meetings have taken place in Oxford, Ohio, three at neutral locations, and just two in West Lafayette, the series openers.

Northwestern (NU leads the series 22-15): The teams split the first four meetings in the series, which began on May 6, 1995. Purdue took the opening doubleheader, but the Wildcats swept a twin bill the next day to even the series. Purdue then won seven straight from 1996 to 1998. Northwestern countered with four wins in 1998 and 1999. The Boilermakers won four of the next six, including a series sweep in Evanston in 2001. The Wildcats have taken 14 of the last 16, including 12 straight from 2004 to 2008. Purdue snapped the streak with a 2-0 win in Game 1 of the 2009 doubleheader, which the teams split.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday ...

• They will have won their fourth home opener in five tries under head coach Kim Maher, and posted the 14th home opening victory in program history (13-3).

• They will move to 12-16 on the season and snap a two-game losing streak.

• They will move to 10-0-1 all-time against the Redhawks and 54-18-1 all time against Mid-American Conference foes.

• They will move to 218-135-2 all-time when playing in the month of March, including an 12-2 mark when playing on March 24.

Read About The Redhawks
At First Glance: The Miami University Redhawks (11-13) enter Wednesday's game after a six-game home stand. The Redhawks return 13 players, including seven starters, from the 2009 NCAA Tournament team that posted a 34-23 record and finished second in the Mid-American Conference east division. Miami is coached by Kelly Kovach Schoenly, who is in her fourth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Redhawks posted a 3-3 record at home last week. The team dropped a Tuesday doubleheader with Western Illinois, including a 14-inning loss in Game 1. The Redhawks went 3-1 at their own Miami Inivtational last weekend, topping Robert Morris, Michigan State and Toledo and falling to Canisius.

Statistically Speaking: Second baseman Meghan Mawn (.351) and utility player Daniela Torres (.338) pace the Redhawk offense. Torres has accounted for nine RBI, nine runs and nine extra base hits, including two home runs, while also swiping five bases. Mawn has added three triples to the team's tally. Outfielder Kathryn Russette (.275), shortstop Sarah Billstrom, catcher/outfielder Alicia Hogl (.239) and first baseman Shannon Tillett (.224) follow. Billstrom has scored a team-best 11 runs with four home runs, eight RBI and six stolen bases. Hogl has accounted for nine runs, seven doubles and nine stolen bases. Miami is batting .231 with seven home runs and 36 stolen bases.

Sophomore Jessica Simpson (8-7) has done the bulk of the pitching for the Redhawks, striking out 78 batters in 100 innings, including nine complete games and three shutouts. Senior Meredith Linch (3-5) has issued 37 Ks in 52 innings, including three complete games and two saves. Senior Shalise Lugo (0-1) has struck out 14 batters in 13 innings, while sophomore Katie Osburn has tossed three innings.

News About Northwestern
At First Glance: The Northwestern Wildcats (12-11) are slated to play a Tuesday game with SIU-Edwardsville and a Thursday contest with Northern Illinois before kicking off conference play against the Boilermakers on Saturday. The Wildcats return 13 letterwinners, including eight starters, from the 2009 team that went 31-15, including a third-place league finish, and advanced to the NCAA Regionals. Northwestern is coached by Kate Drohan, who is in her ninth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Wildcats went 3-1 at the DiMarini Invitational in Columbia, Mo., last weekend. NU topped Eastern Michigan, Ball State and Northern Colorado, but fell to #3 Missouri 5-1.

Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Emily Allard (.312), first baseman Adrienne Monka (.310), catcher Emily Haug (.308) and designated player Michelle Batts (.281) lead the Wildcats at the plate. Allard has stolen a team-leading 11 bases and scored 11 runs, while the other three have combined for 20 home runs and 62 RBI. Monka has launched eight home runs and scored a team-best 16 runs, while Haug and Batts each have added six long balls. Haug has driven in a team-leading 25 RBI, while Monka and Batts have chipped in 19 and 18 respectively. Second baseman Nicole Pauly has added four home runs to the team's tally. As a team, Northwestern is batting .238 with 28 home runs and 44 stolen bases.

Senior Lauren Delaney (5-7) has struck out 100 batters in 78 innings, while tossing nine complete games, including two shutouts. Freshman Meghan Lamberth (3-2) has posted a team-best 1.50 ERA with 20 Ks in 42 innings, including a shutout and a save. Junior Jessica Smith (4-2) has issued 21 strikeouts in 34 innings, including a shutout.

Upcoming Milestones
Pitcher Suzie Rzegocki entered the Purdue career top five for strikeouts in 2009. In two and a half seasons, the Lemont, Ill., native has issued 413 Ks, taking over the fifth-place slot, previously held by Nicole Crouse (1999-2002), who racked up 310 strikeouts. Rzegocki sits 35 Ks behind Sheryl Scheve's fourth-place mark of 448 recorded from 1996-1998.

The junior also has posted 46 wins in her career, surpassing fifth-place Meagan Dooley's tally of 45 from 1999 to 2002. Rzegocki also knocked Dooley out of the top five in innings pitched with 521.2, topping Dooley's effort of 520 innings pitched. Rzegocki also ranks in the career top five for complete games pitched (3rd with 51).

Shortstop Liane Horiuchi has swiped 63 bases in the last year and a half, ranking her fifth all-time on the career steals list. She is just 13 steals away from Angi Roembke's career record mark of 76.

Outfielder Ashley Barr is within striking distance of the career listing for sacrifice bunts with 36. She needs just seven in 2010 to enter the top five.

Making It Exciting
Twelve of the team's 27 games have been decided by one run. Five contests have been decided in the seventh inning, and two more in extra innings. The team also makes sure fans get their money's worth, having played 10 games lasting two hours or longer and two extra-inning affairs.

Perfect At The Plate
Senior outfielder Ashley Barr became the 19th player in Purdue lore to go 4-for-4 at the plate, when she did so against Cal State Fullerton on March 17. Barr doubled down the left field line in the second inning, singled to the shortstop in the fourth, posted a bunt single in the fifth and a single up the middle in the sixth. The effort only has been surpassed by Angi Roembke, who went 5-for-5 against Indiana on April 14, 2002.

Record-Tying Efforts Part 1 - Long Balls
With two home runs against North Dakota State on Feb. 14, freshman pitcher/outfielder Erika Petruzzi became the 11th player in Purdue history to achieve the feat. Senior shortstop Liane Horiuchi matched the effort with a pair of round trippers against #23 Louisiana-Lafayette on March 20. Boilermaker players, including current catcher/first baseman Jenna Alexander, have tied the school game record 16 times.

Record Tying Efforts Part 2 - Base Swiping
Boilermaker players have tied the school record for steals in a game with three on five occasions this season. Senior shortstop Liane Horiuchi swiped a trio of stolen bases against Houston on Feb. 20 and against Sain Louis on Feb. 26, Sophomore third baseman Molly Garst did so against Buffalo on March 13, against Cal State Fullerton on March 17 and versus #23 Louisiana-Lafayette on March 20. Horiuchi and Garst each have now swiped three bases in a game four times in their careers, matching former third baseman Ashley Hall. Six Boilermaker players appear on the single-game steals list, combining for 16 occurances in Purdue lore.

Record-Tying Efforts Part 3 - Free Passes
Horiuchi drew a game-record tying three walks against Northern Illinois on Feb. 27, marking the 16th time in program history a Boilermaker player has recorded three free passes in a game. Horiuchi sit the 12th individual to appear on the records list for walks.

Record-Tying Efforts Part 4 - Scoring
Sophomore Molly Garst scored four runs against #23 Lousiana-Lafayette on March 20, tying the Purdue record mark. Jody Meister set the standard against NE Illinois on March 20, 1997. Katie Mitchell tied the tally against Bowling Green, March 26, 2009.

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 have taken on six ranked foes in eight contests thus far this season in No. 1 Washington, No. 6 Arizona, No. 7 Arizona State, Louisiana-Lafayette (No. 16 and No. 23), Louisville (No. 15 and No. 24) and No. 20 Texas.

Preseason No. 4 Michigan, No. 14 Ohio State and No. 15 Northwestern also made the Boilermaker slate. Six other Purdue foes received votes in the preseason poll: Notre Dame, Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Iowa, Cal State Northridge and Houston.

On The Base Paths
The Boilermakers are 62 for 72 on the basepaths in 2010. Sophomore third baseman Molly Garst has swiped 22 bases in 23 tries, while senior shortstop Liane Horiuchi is 21-for-22. Senior outfielder Ashley Barr has stolen eight bases. Eight of the 11 base runners have at least one steal their credit. As a team, Purdue has five or more bases in three games, including a season-best seven against Buffalo. The seven-steal effort ranks second base all-time in the Purdue offensive record books. Purdue has stolen at least one base in all but four of its contests in 2010.

Both Garst and Horiuchi are approaching the season top five list. Garst and Katie Crabtree (1999) hold down the fourth-best mark on the list with 25.

Doubling Them Up
The Boilermaker defense has recorded 15 double plays thus far in its 27 games, the most among Big Ten teams. Senior shortstop Liane Horiuchi has been a part of nine of those two-out plays. Purdue pulled off three double plays against Long Beach State and doubled No. 6 Arizona up twice.

Can't Touch This
The Purdue pitching staff has issued five or more strikeouts in 13 contests this year, including a season-high 10 against New Mexico on March 17. Junior Suzie Rzegocki has struck out five or more batters in 10 games. Rzegocki ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 101 Ks to her credit and third in the conference in batters struck out looking with 24.

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 Wahiawa, Hawaii, native needs just 14 stolen bases to establish a new Purdue career record. She swiped 63 consecutive bases from Feb. 8, 2009 to March 21,2010, a streak which ranks as the fifth-longest all-time in NCAA Division I history.

In A CLASS of Her Own
Shortstop Liane Horiuchi has been selected as one of just 30 softball candidates from across the nation for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, the corporation announced on Feb. 10.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. An acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The Wahiawá, Hawaii native led the Boilermakers with a .348 batting average, 43 runs and a perfect 42-for-42 season record setting effort on the base paths, which earned her second team All-Big Ten honors at third base. She ranked among the nation's top five in hit by pitches per game (4th with 0.41), stolen bases per game (5th with 0.82), as well as 33rd in on-base percentage (.500), 44th in triples (4) and 51st in runs per game (0.84). She also was the Big Ten's best in stolen bases, hit by pitch, triples and defensive assists. Behind her efforts, the Boilermakers made their second straight NCAA Regional appearance and advanced to the regional championship game.

Horiuchi, a movement and sport sciences major, also excelled in the classroom garnering Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-District V selection in 2009, her first awards eligible season after transferring.

The list of candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in late March, with those names comprising the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies the award's criteria.

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.

Purdue 500
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 520-425-4 all-time record, including a 140-121-1 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 140-121-1 in her four-plus 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.