Game Notes 11: Penn State, Nebraska

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The Boilermakers look to build on a three-game win streak at Penn State on Wednesday. Catch the games live on Big Ten Network at 5 p.m.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The Boilermakers look to build on a three-game win streak at Penn State on Wednesday. Catch the games live on Big Ten Network at 5 p.m.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

April 16, 2013

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The Slate
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Radio (Fri.-Sun.): purduesports.com

Wednesday, April 17; Nittany Lion Softball Park
5 p.m. at Penn State (DH)
TV: Big Ten Network (LIVE)
PxP: Dan Kelly; Color: Stacey Phillips

Boilermaker Softball Complex
Friday, April 19; 4 p.m. vs. Nebraska
Promotion: Blackout Day - Fans are encouraged to wear black.

Saturday, April 20; 1 p.m. vs. Nebraska Promotion: Alumni Day/Social Media Day - Join us in celebrating our program's heritage by honoring our alumnae in attendance. Also, engage with Purdue softball on various social media platforms throughout the week and the game, using the hashtag #PurdueNUSB. Get geared up by tweeting us your "vintage" Purdue softball photos on ThrowBack Thursday, #tbt.

Sunday, April 21; 11 a.m. vs. Nebraska
Promotion: Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day - Purdue faculty and staff and their families will receive $1 admission to the game.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (19-22, 6-6 Big Ten) 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 4-0 on the road last week, topping Loyola 7-4 in Chicago on Tuesday and sweeping Indiana in Bloomington over the weekend (7-2, 9-1, 7-3).

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers are batting .274 on the season, led by a group of five battters hitting .250 or better. Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the way with a .444 average, 31 RBI, 26 runs and 23 stolen bases. Second baseman Ashley Burkhardt boasts a .343 average with a team-best 34 runs, 12 RBI and 17 steals. Outfielder Lindsey Rains (.286) has scored 29 runs, driven in 18 RBI and added 18 stolen bases. Third baseman Tori Chiodo (.271) and outfielder Maia Monchek (.269) round out the group. Catcher Danielle Fletcher (.240) has driven in 24 RBI and tallied a team-leading five home runs. Seven different players have contributed to the Boilermakers' tally of 15 home runs. Purdue also is 94-for-114 in stolen base attempts.

Four pitchers are splitting time in the circle for Purdue. The group has combined for a 2.96 ERA and 172 strikeouts. Freshman Lilly Fecho (8-12) has struck out 84 batters in 125 innings, including nine complete games and a save. Sophomore Lexy Moore (7-9) has struck out 66 batters in 105 innings, including a shutout, while sophomore Alex Whittemore (2-0) has struck out 17 in 25 innings. Senior Erika Petruzzi has issued five Ks in 16 innings of work, including a shutout.

Series Information
Penn State (PSU leads the series 20-22-1): Penn State won the first three meetings in the series with the Boilermakers which began on April 22, 1995. Purdue responded with five straight wins. The Nittany Lions won nine straight from 1997 to 2000, but Purdue snapped the streak with a 5-4, 10-inning win on April 13, 2001, which started a stretch in which the teams split the next eight games. Penn State ended the back-and-forth with a four-game win streak. The Boilermakers countered with eight straight wins from 2006 to 2010. PSU won two in a row, then the teams tied in a weather and travel shortened 8-inning tie in 2011. Purdue swept the three-game set in 2012.

Nebraska (Purdue leads the series 2-1): The Boilermakers won the first two meetings with the Huskers at the N.I.S.T tournament in Sunnyvale, Calif., in 1996 and 1999. Nebraska took a 4-3 decision in February at the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Penn State in Game 1 on Wednesday...

• They will push their current win streak to four games.

• They will move to 7-6 in Big Ten play on the season, including a 6-4 edge in road games.

• They will move within one game of tying the all-time series with the Nittany Lions.

• They will move to 212-193-2 all-time in the month of April, including an 4-7 mark on April 17.

• It would move the team's record to 82-112-1 all-time in road conference games.

News About the Nittany Lions
At First Glance: The Penn State Nittany Lions (10-26, 1-10 Big Ten) kick off a seven-game homestand when they play host to the Boilermakers on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions return 14 letterwinners, including eight starters, from the 2012 team which went 18-32 and finished 11th in the Big Ten. Penn State is coached by Robin Petrini, who is in her 17th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Nittany Lions posted a 2-3 record last week. PSU topped Saint Francis (PA) 4-1 on Tuesday and Pittsburgh 11-7 on Wednesday before dropping a trhee game set against Ohio State in Columbus over the weekend. OSU won 2-0, 16-7 (5 innings) and 4-3 (8 innings).

Statistically Speaking: Outfielder Cassidy Bell leads the PSU bats with a .455 average, 40 runs, 17 home runs, 37 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Four other players are batting .250 or better. Second baseman Alyssa Renwick (.386), pitcher Macy Jones (.333), first baseman Kaiyln Johnson (.280) and outfielder Shannon Hutchinson (.271) make up that group. Jones has added five home runs, 24 RBI and 17 runs, while Johnson has added four home runs and 16 RBI. Renwick has chipped in 16 runs and seven stolen bases. Eight different players have launched home runs for the Nittany Lions. As a team, Penn State is batting .277 with 35 home runs and 38 stolen bases.

Jones (9-11), a freshman lefty, has done the bulk of the pitching for the Nittany Lions, striking out 78 batters and tossing one shutout in 117 innings, while compiling a 3.93 ERA. Junior Jordan Wheatley (1-2) has added 16 strikeouts in 46 innings. Sophomore Marissa Diescher (0-6) has struck out 14 in 22 innings, freshman Christy Von Pusch (0-6) has added two Ks in 19 innings and senior Rachel Myers (0-1) has struck out three batters in 16 innings. Opponents are batting .319.

Hearing About the Huskers
At First Glance: The Nebraska Cornhuskers (30-9, 8-3 Big Ten) will play a Tuesday doubleheader against Minnesota and a single game against Kansas on Wednesday before travelling to West Lafayette. The Huskers return nine letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2012 team which went 33-22 and finished third in the Big Ten. Nebraska is coached by Rhonda Revelle, who is in her 21st year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Huskers went 2-1 in a weekend series against Wisconsin, taking the opener 4-0 and the finale 11-2 (5 innings), but dropping Game 2, 5-2.

Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Alicia Armstrong (.365), outfielder Brooke Thomason (.358) and catcher Taylor Edwards (.348) headline the Husker offense, while five other players boast averages of .250 or better. Edwards has driven in a team-best 40 RBI with nine home runs and 27 runs, while Thomason adds 37 RBI, five home runs adn 23 runs. Armstrong has launched two home runs and chipped in 21 runs. Designated player Dawna Tyson (.296), outfielder Kiki Stokes (.291), first baseman Mattie Fowler (.267), third baseman Gabby Banda (.2620 and outfielder Jordan Bettiol (.261) follow. Tyson and Fowler each has launched three home runs, while Stokes has scored a team-best 36 runs and stolen 12 bases. As a team, Nebraska is batting .291 with 37 home runs and 32 stolen bases.

Junior Tatum Edwards (19-6) and freshman Emily Lockman (11-3) have split the pitching duties for the Huskers. Edwards has struck out 140 batters in 147 innings with seven shutouts, a save and a 1.90 ERA. Lockman has issued 69 Ks in 99 inning, including three shutouts and a 1.48 ERA. Freshman Danica Bishop added five strikeouts and a save in eight innings of work. The staff owns a 1.74 ERA and is holding foes to a .208 average.

In The National Statistics
In the NCAA softball statistical rankings, the Boilermakers boast a spot among the Top 50 as a team. Purdue has swiped 2.24 stolen bases per game, ranking fifth nationally.

Individually, junior outfielder Andie Varsho ranks 22nd in batting average (.444) and 49th in stolen bases per game (0.51). Junior outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 36th in hit by pitch per game (0.29). Freshman Lilly Fecho ranked 37th in walks allowed per seven innings (1.45).

Fecho Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
Freshman Lilly Fecho was honored as Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on April 15 for her efforts against Indiana. The accolade is the first of Fecho's career and the first for a Boilermaker hurler since Lexy Moore was honored on April 2, 2012.

Fecho recorded two of the team's four wins on the week, finishing with a 0.50 ERA in 14 innings of work, striking out nine without allowing a walk. The Carol Stream, Ill., native did not allow a run in two relief appearances, pitching 2.1 innings in the series opener with Indiana, while pitching 4.2 innings of three-hit ball in the finale to earn the win. She earned her first victory of the series in Game 2, posting a complete-game five hitter, allowing her only run of the weekend, while striking out four batters.

Fecho has posted an 8-12 record on the season, including 84 strikeouts and a 2.51 ERA in 125.2 innings of work.