Softball Notes 9: Ball State, Ohio State

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Aurora, Ohio native Mary Beth Pavlick and the Boilermakers take on the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday and Sunday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Aurora, Ohio native Mary Beth Pavlick and the Boilermakers take on the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday and Sunday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

April 11, 2012

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The Slate
Thursday, April 12: 3 p.m. vs. Ball State (DH)
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

Saturday, April 14: 1 p.m. vs. Ohio State (DH)
Promotion: Boiler Black Out Day - Wear Black to Support the Boilermakers. Come see Purdue women's basketball player KK Houser throw out the first pitch.
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

Sunday, April 15:2 p.m. vs. Ohio State
Promotion: Social Media Day - Watch out for social media related contests throughout the game. Submit a photo showing your Purdue school spirit to sportspromo@purdue.edu for your chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game.
TV: Big Ten Network - Play by Play: Marney Gellner; Color: Heather Lyke
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: A Purdue squad (24-12, 7-2 Big Ten) featuring 12 returning players and seven newcomers is set for its fourth-straight road game, when it heads to Muncie to play Ball State on Thursday. Eight position starters and three starting pitchers return from the 2011 squad which finished 30-18-2 and fifth in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are coached by Kim Maher, who is her seventh year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers went 2-3 last week. Purdue topped IUPUI on Tuesday, but lost to Notre Dame 8-6 on Thursday to snap an eight-game win streak. The team dropped its Saturday doubleheader to Indiana, but rebounded with an 11-2 win on Sunday. The Boilermakers are tied for second place in the Big Ten with a 7-2 mark.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers boast a .332 team batting average, including eight batters hitting at a .300 or better clip. Outfielder Lindsey Rains (.381), outfielder Andie Varsho (.379) and first baseman Ashley Courtney (.379) lead the way. Rains boasts a team-best 30 runs as well as 27 RBI, 18 stolen bases, four triples and three home runs. Varsho has registered 27 runs and 21 RBI and stolen 12 bases, while Courtney has driven in a team-leading 26 RBI. Shortstop Molly Garst (.370), catcher Danielle Fletcher (.343), third baseman Tori Chiodo (.341), second baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.326) and pitcher/outfielder Erika Petruzzi (.304) also are batting over .300. Garst has scored 30 runs and stolen a team-best 24 bases, while Petruzzi has launched six home runs. Fletcher has added three home runs and scored 25 runs. Courtney, Chiodo and utility player Lauren Grant each have posted two home runs. All told, Purdue is averaging nearly six runs per game with 94 extra base hits and 79 steals.

Freshman Lexy Moore (16-4) leads the way in the circle, striking out 88 batters in 131 innings and posting a 2.73 ERA. Freshman Alex Whittemore (3-4) has struck out 25 in 39 innings. Senior Katie Hackney (4-2) has issued 24 Ks in 37 innings, while junior Erika Petruzzi (1-2) has struck out 10 in 21 innings.

Series Information
Ball State (Purdue leads 17-2): The Boilermakers and Cardinals split the first meetings in the series which began on March 21, 1995. Purdue won the first contest and BSU took the second, but the Boilermakers followed with 12 straight wins from 1996-2006. Ball State ended the streak with a 7-3 win in Muncie in 2008, but Purdue has taken the last four contests. Purdue is 8-0 at home against the Cardinals, 8-2 in Muncie and 1-0 in neutral locales.

Ohio State (OSU leads 19-13): Ohio State won the first three meetings in the series with the Buckeyes which began on April 15, 1995. The teams split the next eight contests, the last of which kicked off a four-game win streak for Purdue. OSU countered with six straight wins. The Boilermakers took two of the next three, but Ohio State responded with four straight in 2007 and 2008. Purdue, however, has taken four of the last five meetings, including a series sweep in Columbus in 2011.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Ball State in Game 1 on Thursday...

• They will move to 25-12 and extend their current win streak to two games.

• They will have won their fifth straight game in the series with the Cardinals.

• They will move to 7-4 on the road in 2012 and 9-2 all-time when playing in Muncie.

• They will move to 5-3 against instate foes in 2012 (having previously topped Valparaiso, Butler, IUPUI and Indiana once each, while falling to Indiana twice and Notre Dame once). The Boilermakers are 37-17 under coach Kim Maher when playing their instate foes (Ball State, Butler, IUPUI, Indiana, Indiana State, Notre Dame and Valparaiso).

• They will move to 200-185-2 all-time in the month of April, including a 7-4-1 mark on April 12.

Chatting About The Cardinals
At First Glance: The Ball State Cardinals (24-11, 4-2 MAC) have won five of their last seven games and bring a two-game win streak into Thursday's games. The Cardinals return 15 letterwinners, including five starters from the 2011 team which posted a 34-24 mark and finished fourth in the Mid-American Conference. Ball State is coached by Craig Nicholson, who is in his sixth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Cardinals went 4-1 last week, topping Wright State in a midweek contest, splitting a Friday doubleheader with Ohio and sweeping a two-game set from Akron over the weekend.

Statistically Speaking: Designated player Amanda Montalto leads the Cardinal bats with a .380 average, including 21 extra base hits, seven home runs, 32 runs and 26 RBI. Four other players also are batting over .300, while three more boasts average of .250 or better. Outfielder Jennifer Gilbert (.333), first baseman Taylor Rager (.333), third baseman Audrey Bickel (.333) and outfielder Amanda Carpenter (.311) make up the first group, while outfielder Hanne Stuedemann (.296), second baseman Taylor Cox (.289) and outfielder Loren Cihlar (.279) follow. Rager has hit a team-best eight home runs and driven in 33 RBI, while Gilbert has added seven homers and scored a team-leading 37 runs. Bickel has launched six home runs and driven in 29 RBI, while Carpenter has added five long balls and nine stolen bases. Shortstop Alison Mercado has hit .378 with seven steals in 18 starts. As a team, Ball State is batting .309 with 37 home runs and 40 stolen bases.

Seniors Audrey Workman (11-8) and Kim Mazzapica (13-3) have split time in the circle for BSU. Workman has thrown 83 strikeouts in 122 innings, including four shutouts and a save. Mazzapica has issued 51 Ks in 109 innings including two shutouts. The pair combines for a 2.53 ERA and is allowing opponents just a .239 average.

An Overview of Ohio State
At First Glance: The Ohio State Buckeyes (17-17, 2-4 Big Ten) faces Dayton on Wednesday before journeying to West Lafayette. The Buckeyes return 13 letterwinners, including five starters from the 2011 team which posted a 14-37 mark and finished second in the Big Ten. OSU is coached by Linda Kalafatis, who is in her 16th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Hoosiers went 2-3 last week, sweeping a midweek doubleheader with Buffalo and dropping all three games of the weekend series with No. 20 Michigan (10-2, 11-4, 6-5).

Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Alicia Herron (.429) leads a group of six Buckeyes that boast a .300 or better average. Herron has posted a team-best 42 RBI, 11 home runs, 35 runs and eight stolen bases. First baseman Evelyn Carrillo (.364), outfielder Taylor Watkins (.361), designated player Danielle LeBeau (.326), outfielder Katie Simonton (.324) and outfielder Vanessa Spears (.315) round out the group. Carillo has launched five home runs and driven in 33 RBI, while Watkins has scored 26 runs. Simonton has stolen a team-best nine bases, while LeBeau and Spears each have added two home runs. As a team, Ohio State is batting .302 with 31 home runs and 34 stolen bases.

Senior Mikayla Endicott (14-9) has done the bulk of the pitching for OSU, striking out 136 batters in 143 innings, while tossing three shutouts and earning three saves. She boasts a 2.48 ERA and has held foes to a .228 average. Sophomore Melanie Nichols (8-5) has issued 48 Ks in 75 innings, including a shutout and a save. Freshman Olivia O'Reilly (1-0) has struck out 16 in 19 innings.

Among The Nation's Statistical Leaders
The Boilermakers rank among the national top 50 in eight statistical categories. The team is fifth in triples per game (0.39), eighth in stolen bases per game (2.19), ninth in doubles per game (1.64), 10th in batting average (.332), 17th in double plays per game (0.44), 18th in slugging percentage (.484), 25th in scoring (5.83 runs per game) and 48th in winning percentage (0.667).

Individually, sophomore outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 11th in triples (4), 19th in triples per game (0.11) and 42nd in stolen bases per game (0.50). Senior shortstop Molly Garst ranks 14th in stolen bases per game (0.67) and 36th in doubles per game (0.31). Freshman pitcher Lexy Moore ranks 27th in wins (16). Junior first baseman Ashley Courtney ranks 36th in doubles per game (0.31), while sophomore outfielder Andie Varsho ranks 30th nationally in triples (3).

Impacting The Record Books
Sophomore catcher Danielle Fletcher snapped the 15-year old game record for walks with four in Game 2 against Penn State on March 31. The effort surpassed the old mark of three, which had been reached 19 times in program lore, including twice by junior infielder Ashley Courtney in 2012 (2/18 and 2/24)

Senior shortstop Molly Garst tied two game records at the Frost Classic, posting five hits against Troy and swiping three bases against Niagara. The five-hit tally matched Angi Roembke's 5-for-5 effort against Indiana in 2002. The steals tally tied the record which has been achieved 20 times in program history, including seven times by Garst. Garst also adds to her career record stolen base tally with each steal. She has 20 steals in 2012, moving the record number to 122.

Sophomore outfielder Lindsey Rains tied the record for steals in a game with three against South Alabama.

Junior pitcher/outfielder Erika Petruzzi tied the game record mark for home runs with two in Game 2 of the series with Indiana. The effort marked the 19th time a Boilermaker player had achieved the feat and the second time for Petruzzi, who also had a two-homer effort on Feb. 14, 2010 against North Dakota State. Fourteen different players have tallied two home runs in a game, including four that have done so multiple times.

The Boilermakers posted a record-tying 18 hits against Troy, matching the mark which has been achieved four times prior, last against IUPUI in 2011. Purdue posted a game-record tying three triples against Niagara, matching the output from the March 6, 1994, game vs. UNC-Wilmington. The Boilermakers have earned a record-tying nine walks twice in 2012: against UT-Martin on March 24 and on March 31 vs. Penn State. The nine-walk tallies match a mark achieved three previous times, once in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Garst has scored 134 times, just four shy of Katie Crabtree (1999-2002)'s third place mark of 138 on the career runs list. The senior has tallied 216 hits, ranking fifth on that career listing, 13 out of fourth. She also has tallied 10 triples, matching the fourth-place mark, which has been achieved by four other players. With 41 doubles, Garst is just one shy of the top five in that category.

In 2012, the Boilermakers have registered 14 triples, ranking tied for the third on the school's all-time listing, tied with the 1998 and 2011 teams. The team is just four triples shy of the program record for triples in season (18), which was set in 1994 and tied in 2010.