Softball Wraps Regular Season at Home vs. Iowa

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Seniors Ashley Courtney, Maia Monchek and Erika Petruzzi will play their final home games at Purdue this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Seniors Ashley Courtney, Maia Monchek and Erika Petruzzi will play their final home games at Purdue this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

May 1, 2013

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The Slate
Boilermaker Softball Complex ~ West Lafayette, Ind.
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Radio: http://bit.ly/yV9Cob

Friday, May 3; 4 p.m. vs. Iowa
Promotion: Fan Appreciation Day - Free Postgame Pizza (while supplies last).

Saturday, May 4; 1 p.m. vs. Iowa
Promotion: Family Day

Sunday, May 5; 1 p.m. vs. Iowa
Promotion: Senior Day - Come did our seniors farewell in their final home game of the season. Senior Day ceremony will begin at 12:50 p.m.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (22-28, 8-9 Big Ten) can finish anywhere from sixth to 10th in the Big Ten regular season standings heading into the final weekend of conference play. The team 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 1-3 last week, topping Valparaiso 4-2 on Wednesday, before falling in a three-game set against Northwestern over the weekend.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers are batting .273 on the season, led by a group of six battters hitting .250 or better. Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the way with a .430 average, 36 RBI, 31 runs, four home runs and 26 stolen bases. Second baseman Ashley Burkhardt boasts a .316 average with a team-best 38 runs, 12 RBI and 19 steals. Outfielder Maia Monchek (.300), outfielder Lindsey Rains (.300), third baseman Tori Chiodo (.257) and catcher Danielle Fletcher (.255) round out the group. Rains has scored 31 runs, driven in 19 RBI and added 22 stolen bases, while Fletcher has driven in 30 RBI and tallied a team-leading six home runs. Eight different players have contributed to the Boilermakers' tally of 18 home runs. Purdue also is 109-for-136 in stolen base attempts.

Four pitchers are splitting time in the circle for Purdue. The group has combined for a 3.34 ERA and 206 strikeouts. Freshman Lilly Fecho (8-14) has struck out 97 batters in 144 innings, including nine complete games and two saves. Sophomore Lexy Moore (10-13) has struck out 86 batters in 145 innings, including a shutout, while sophomore Alex Whittemore (2-0) has struck out 18 in 28 innings. Senior Erika Petruzzi has issued five Ks in 16 innings of work, including a shutout.

Series Information
Iowa (Iowa leads the series 36-9): Iowa won three of the first five meetings and 36 of the first 42 games with the Boilermakers, including an eight game stretch from 1996 to 1998 and a 10-game stretch from 2001 to 2005. Purdue has taken the last three games, however, including a series sweep in 2011. The teams did not play one another in 2012. The Boilermakers hae won four games at home, four in Iowa City and one neutral site game.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Iowa on Friday...

• They will snap a three-game losing streak.

• They will extend their current series win streak against the Hawkeyes to four games.

• They will move to 37-45-1 all-time in the month of May, including a 5-1 mark on May 3.

Hearing About The Hawkeyes
At First Glance: The Iowa Hawkeyes (25-18, 9-7 Big Ten) are set to play their annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series game vs. Iowa on Wednesday before travelling to West Lafayette this weekend. The Hawkeyes return 15 letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2012 team which went 27-26 and finished second in the Big Ten. Iowa is coached by Marla Looper, who is in her third year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Hawkeyes went 2-4 last week, dropping a Wednesday doubleheader to Illinois (8-5, 6-3), bouncing back with a 10-1 win at Northern Iowa and then posting a 1-2 mark against Penn State, falling 6-3 and 6-5 before winning the finale 5-0.

Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Megan Blank (.450) leads the Hawkeye bats with a .450 average, a team-best 58 RBI, 15 doubles, 11 home runs and 37 runs. Outfielder Johnnie Downing (.351), designated player Kayla Massey (.322) and third baseman Michelle Zoeller (.286) follow. Downing has scored a team-best 42 runs with four triples and 17 stolen bases. Massey has launched nin hme runs and added 37 RBI, while Zoeller has added 20 runs, three triples and six steals. Second baseman Bradi Wall (.242) and catcher Holly Hoffman (.226) have added three home runs apiece. As a team, Iowa is batting .280 with 29 home runs and 47 stolen bases.

Massey (14-12) has done the bulk of the pitching for the Hawkeyes, issuing 97 strikeouts, three shutouts and a save in 172 innings of work. Senior Chelsea Lyon (9-9) has added 63 strikeouts and three shutouts in 104 innings of work. Freshman Micaela Whitney (3-2) has chipped in 28 Ks in 42 innings, including a save. The staff is allowing opponents to hit at a .266 clip and boasts a combined ERA of 3.55.

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 2.14 stolen bases per game, ranking sixth nationally.

Individually, junior outfielder Andie Varsho ranks 28th in batting average (.430) and 58th in stolen bases per game (0.48). Junior outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 65th in hit by pitch per game (0.24) and 71st in stolen bases per game (0.44). Freshman Lilly Fecho ranks 61st in walks allowed per seven innings (1.65) and 62nd in saves (2).