Game Notes 12: Minnesota

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The Boilermaker softball team is slated for a three-game set with Minnesota this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The Boilermaker softball team is slated for a three-game set with Minnesota this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

May 3, 2012

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The Slate
Saturday, May 5: 1 p.m. vs. Minnesota (DH)
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Video: gophersports.com

Sunday, May 6: 1 p.m. vs. Minnesota
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Video: gophersports.com


At First Glance: A Purdue squad (30-17, 12-5 Big Ten) featuring 12 returning players and seven newcomers is half a game out of first place in the Big Ten with two weeks to play. 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 2-2 last week. Purdue dropped a 3-1 decision to Loyola on Wednesday. The team then won the bookends of a three-game set with Wisconsin on the weekend.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers boast a .319 team batting average, including six batters hitting at a .300 or better clip. First baseman Ashley Courtney (.371), outfielder Lindsey Rains (.371) and shortstop Molly Garst (.363) lead the way. Courtney has accounted for a team-best 32 RBI, 13 doubles and three home runs. Rains has recorded a 39 runs, 30 RBI, 24 stolen bases, four triples and three home runs. Garst has scored a team-best 39 runs and stolen a team-leading 27 bases. Outfielder Andie Varsho (.360), third baseman Tori Chiodo (.330) and catcher Danielle Fletcher (.311) also are batting over .300. Varsho has registered 34 runs, 29 RBI and 16 stolen bases, while pitcher/outfielder Erika Petruzzi (.284) has launched seven home runs. Fletcher has added six home runs, while Chiodo, Garst and utility player Lauren Grant each have posted two. All told, Purdue is averaging nearly six runs per game with 113 extra base hits and 95 steals.

Freshman Lexy Moore (20-8) leads the way in the circle, striking out 114 batters in 178 innings and posting a 3.10 ERA. Senior Katie Hackney (6-3) has issued 44 Ks in 61 innings. Freshman Alex Whittemore (3-4) has struck out 25 in 39 innings, while junior Erika Petruzzi (1-2) has struck out 10 in 22 innings.

Series Information
Minnesota (The series is tied 19-19): The teams split the first 10 meetings in the series which began on April 29, 1995. Minnesota won the next four contests, but Purdue took three of the next five, including a 16-inning marathon on April 29, 2000. The Gophers won three in a row from 2001-2003. Since then, the Boilermakers have taken 11 of 16, including a five-game stretch from 2005 to 2007. The teams split the 2011 series in West Lafayette. Purdue is 10-6 all-time in Minneapolis.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Minnesota in Game 1 on Saturday...

• They will move to 31-17, matching the team's highest victory total through 48 games in program history. (also 2008, 2002 and 1997)

• They will move to 13-5 in Big Ten play, marking the second-most conference victories in school history, behind the 14-12 season in 1997.

• They will move to 204-189-2 all-time in the month of May, including a 3-2 mark on May 5.

Getting To Know The Gophers
At First Glance: The Minnesota Golden Gophers (28-19, 7-11 Big Ten) carry a four-game losing streak into their games with Purdue this weekend. The Gophers return eight letterwinners, including five starters and two pitchers from the 2011 team which posted a 31-24 mark and finished sixth in the Big Ten. Minnesota is coached by Jessica Allister, who is in her second year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Gophers were swept by Penn State last weekend all in comeback fashion. PSU won 6-5, 4-3 (8) and 4-3.

Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Tyler Walker paces the Gopher bats with a .368 average, including 43 runs, 26 RBI, eight home runs and 13 stolen bases. Third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson also is batting over .300 with a .345 mark, including 36 runs, 36 RBI, 15 doubles and nine home runs. Catcher Kari Dorle (.293), outfielder Dannie Skrove (.286) and designated player Madie Eckstrom (.276) follow. Dorle has driven in a team-best 44 RBI and launched nine home runs, while Esckstrom has added four long balls. Outfielder Erica Meyer (.236) has added six home runs. As a team, Minnesota is batting .266 with 46 home runs and 35 stolen bases.

Sophomore Sara Moulton has done the bulk of the pitching for the Gophers, boasting a 22-13 record with a 1.53 ERA, 279 strikeouts and seven shutouts in 224 innings of work. Senior Alissa Koch (6-6) has struck out 52 batters in 66 innings, while freshman Kelsey Kimminau (0-0) has added eight Ks in 21 innings and picked up two saves. The staff is allowing foes a .210 average.

Among The Nation's Statistical Leaders
The Boilermakers rank among the national top 50 in seven statistical categories, including the top 10 in two listings. The team is sixth in triples per game (0.34), eighth in stolen bases per game (2.00), 13th in batting average (.319), 14th in doubles per game (1.49), 26th in slugging percentage (.463), 25th in scoring (5.55 runs per game) and 45th in double plays per game (0.36).

Individually, sophomore outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 21st in triples (4) and 35th in stolen bases per game (0.51). Senior shortstop Molly Garst ranks 21st in stolen bases per game (0.57). Freshman pitcher Lexy Moore ranks 39th in wins (20).

A Continuing Tradition
The Boilermakers have secured a .500 or better record for the 14th straight season and 17th in program lore. The team also has reached the 30-win milestone, which Purdue squads have reached in 14 of the 18 previous seasons, including 11 of the last 12.

The team is 216-167-3 under Maher and is just four wins away from the 600th program victory.

Impacting The Record Books: Game
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). Fletcher also tied the game record for home runs with a pair against Ball State in Game 2 of the April 12, 2012, doubleheader, marking the 20th time a Boilermaker had achieved the feat. Fletcher entered the season top five for walks with her 30th free pass of the year on April 25 against Loyola.

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.

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. Fifteen 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.

Impacting The Record Books: Season
In 2012, the Boilermakers have registered 16 triples, ranking third on the school's all-time listing. The team is just two triples shy of the program record for triples in season (18), which was set in 1994 and tied in 2010. The Boilermakers have drawn 168 walks, good for second-most all time. The team has scored 261 runs, third most in school lore, and driven in 227 RBI, also good for third. The 2012 squad also has racked up 70 doubles, fifth-most on the season list and just three away from the record of 73 set in 2007. Purdue has swiped 95 bases thus far in 2012, matching the fifth place tally from the 2003 season and just four away from the 2011 team's fourth-place mark of 99.

Individually, catcher Danielle Fletcher has drawn 32 free passes, ranking fourth on the season list, just one away from Jesse Jones' third place mark of 33 from 2003.

Impacting The Record Books: Career
Senior shortstop Molly Garst took sole possesion of the career runs scored record on April 28, when she scored her 141st in Game 2 of the doubleheader with Wisconsin. The tally topped the previous mark of 140 owned by Andrea Hillsey (2002-2005) and Tricia Lilley (2003-2006). The runs record is the second career mark for Garst, who also has posted a record 129 stolen bases.

With 43 doubles, Garst ranks third in that category, just one off of Lilley's second place mark of 44. Garst also has tallied 229 hits, ranking tied for fourth on that career listing and just five away from Jenny Schoen's third place mark of 234 (1995-98). She also has registered 10 triples, matching the fourth-place mark, which has been achieved by four other players.