Softball Continues Big Ten Play vs. Ohio State

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Freshman shortstop Mary Gooding and the Boilermakers will face off with Ohio State in Columbus this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Freshman shortstop Mary Gooding and the Boilermakers will face off with Ohio State in Columbus this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

March 27, 2013

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p>WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermakers continue Big Ten play with a three-game series against Ohio State this weekend.The series was originally set to be played in West Lafayette, but has since been moved to Columbus due to field conditions.

The Revised Slate
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Friday, 5 p.m. - at Ohio State
Saturday, Noon - vs. Ohio State
Sunday, 1 p.m. - vs. Ohio State

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (11-18) 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.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers went 0-3 last week in their Big Ten opening series against No. 14 Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers are batting .251 on the season, led by a group of four battters hitting .250 or better. Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the way with a .396 average, 18 RBI, 15 runs and 13 stolen bases. Second baseman Ashley Burkhardt boasts a .347 average with a team-best 23 runs, eight RBI and 11 steals. Shortstop/designated player Mary Gooding (.286) and outfielder Lindsey Rains (.247) round out the group. Catcher Danielle Fletcher (.238), outfielder Maia Monchek (.232) and third baseman CJ Parsons (.220) are not far behind. Fletcher has driven in a 17 RBI and tallied a team-leading 10 extra base hits, including three home runs. Rains has scored 17 runs, and also boasts one home run and eight stolen bases. The Boilermakers are 57-for-71 in stolen base attempts.

Four pitchers are splitting time in the circle for Purdue. The group has combined for a 3.16 ERA and 113 strikeouts. Freshman Lilly Fecho (5-10) has struck out 55 batters in 85 innings, including six complete games and a save. Sophomore Lexy Moore (3-7) has struck out 40 batters in 64 innings, including a shutout, while sophomore Alex Whittemore (1-0) has struck out 13 in 20 innings. Senior Erika Petruzzi has issued five Ks in 16 innings of work, including a shutout.

Series Information
Ohio State (OSU leads the series 19-15): The Buckeyes won the seven of the first 10 meetings in the series, which began on April 15, 1995. The Boilermakers countered with four straight wins from 1999 to 2001. Ohio State took 11 of the next 14 from 2001 to 2008. Purdue has won six of the last seven, including season sweeps in 2011 and 2012. Purdue is 5-6 all-time against the Buckeyes in West Lafayette and 9-13 when playing in Columbus.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Ohio State on Saturday...

• They will move to 12-18 on the season and snap a nine-game losing streak.

• They will win their home opener for the seventh straight season, for the seventh time in eight seasons under Coach Maher and the 17th time in program history.

• They will move to 247-163-2 all-time in the month of March, including a 8-5 mark on March 30.

• It would move the team's record to 181-131 all-time in home games.

Opening Up About Ohio State
At First Glance: The Ohio State Buckeyes (21-7) kick off an eight-game road swing with this weekend's series against Purdue. The Buckeyes return 16 letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2012 team that posted a 31-23 record and an eighth-place Big Ten finish. Ohio State is coached by Kelly Kovach Schoenly, who is in her first year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Buckeyes won their Big Ten opening series with Indiana, taking the first game 9-5 and the finale 8-2. The Hoosiers took a 6-4 nine-inning decision in Game 1 on Saturday to snap OSU's seven game win streak.

Statistically Speaking: Nine Buckeye batters boast averages of .250 or better, including five over .300. Outfielder Taylor Watkins leads the group with a .414 average, including a team-best 28 runs, 26 RBI, five home runs and nine stolen bases. Designated player Leesa Gresham (.391), outfielder Cammi Prantl (.384), first baseman Evelyn Carrillo (.343) and second baseman Shelby Pickett (.308) make up the group. Gresham has plated 26 runs, while launching a team-best seven home runs. Prantl has added 23 runs and seven steals. Seven different players have contributed to the team's 20 home run tally. The Buckeyes are batting .317 as a team and have swiped 29 bases.

Freshman Alex DiDomenico (8-3) leads the OSU pitching staff with a 1.43 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 78 innings of work, while limiting opposing batters to a .190 average. Sophomore Olivia O'Reilly (6-4) has issued 59 strikeouts in 57 innings, while also accounting for one of the team's three saves. Junior Kasie Kelly (3-1), redshirt junior Melanie Nichols (3-1) and junior Audrey Plant (0-0) also have seen time in the circle for the Buckeyes. Nichols has struck out 18 in 33 innings, while Kelly has K'ed 13 batters in 20 innings. Plant has picked up two saves, while striking out three in just five innings of action.

In The National Statistics
In the NCAA softball statistical rankings released March 18, the Boilermakers boast a spot among the Top 50 as a team. Purdue has swiped 1.93 stolen bases per game, ranking 21st nationally. The Boilermakers have posted a .966 fielding percentage, good for 61st in the nation.

Individually, junior outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 55th in hit by pitch per game (0.28), while freshman Lilly Fecho ranked 61st in walks allowed per seven innings (1.63).