May 5, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The focus at the Purdue softball banquet was on the postseason opportunities ahead and the careers of three outstanding seniors on Sunday night.
Purdue finished the regular season with a 22-31 record, including an 8-15 mark in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers were plagued by several one run losses, including five to ranked opponents. The team has batted .268 with 161 walks and 38 hit by pitches, which rank second and fourth on the program's all-time listings. The Boilers have swiped 119 bases, a tally which ranks second most all-time at Purdue and in the top 10 nationally in 2013.
The Boilermakers earned the No. 10 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face off with No. 7 seed Michigan State at 8 p.m. ET Thursday in Lincoln, Neb. A live radio broadcast will be available on purduesports.com and live streaming video also will be available free of charge.
And The Honor Goes To...
Freshman Lilly Fecho garnered Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors, April 15, while junior Andie Varsho and senior Erika Petruzzi were honored as Academic All-District V selections. Varsho is now eligible for Academic All-America honors.
Junior outfielder Andie Varsho was named as the team's Offensive MVP after leading the Boilermaker bats with a .411 average, including a team-best 36 RBI, 28 stolen bases and 32 runs. The Chili, Wis., native tapped 16 extra base hits and paced the team with a .485 on-base percentage and .565 slugging percentage. She reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 45 of the team's 53 games, including a pair of nine-game hit streaks. Varsho scored four game-winning runs and knocked in four game-winning RBI. She ranks among the Big Ten's top 10 in stolen bases, hits, batting average, on-base percentage and triples. The Academic All-Big Ten selection also tied the game record for stolen bases with three against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and moved into third on the career steals list with 78 and fifth on the career triples list with 10.
Junior outfielder Lindsey Rains, who posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, making good on all 77 chances in center field, was tabbed at the team's Defensive MVP. In addition to her fielding prowess, the Academic All-Big Ten selection has posted a .294 average with seven extra-base hits. She has reached base via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 43 of her 53 games, including four five-game hitting streaks. The Fullerton, Calif., native has scored 31 runs, including six game winners, and driven in 19 RBI, including three game winners. She has swiped 25 bases, second most on the team and in the Big Ten, while also owning spots among the league's top 10 for hit by pitch (12) and sacrifice bunts (10).
Freshman CJ Parsons was honored with the Heart of a Champion Award, which is given to the player who is willing to put it all on the line for the team. The infielder saw action in 21 games, starting 13 at third base. She posted a .209 average with nine hits and three walks. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native put together a five-game hit streak and tallied multiple hits in two games. Parsons drove in one RBI against Nebraska and scored a pair of runs, one against Drake and one against Michigan. Defensively, the rookie made good on 39 of her 40 defensive chances for a .975 fielding percentage.
Senior infielder Ashley Courtney garnered the Coaches' Award, which is given to a player who believes in the team vision, always puts the team first and is someone the coaches can rely and depend on. Courtney started 43 games at first base and one as the designated player, while posting a .170 average, two doubles and five stolen bases. The Lafayette, Ind., native drove in 13 RBI, including three game winners, while scoring 11 runs. She posted multiple hits in five games, including a 2-for-2 effort against Ohio State. Courtney laid down a team-leading 11 sacrifice bunts, which ranks among the top 10 in the Big Ten Conference, while also drawing four walks and being hit by a pitch twice. Defensively, the three-time All-Big Ten selection was a part of 11 double plays, which also ranks among the league's top 10 in 2013.
Junior Mary Beth Pavlick garnered the Unsung Hero Award for third straight season. It is given to the player who is dedicated, selfless and puts in the work that may go unnoticed. An Academic All-Big Ten selection, Pavlick saw action in 14 games, acting mostly as a pinch runner, but earned her first career start at catcher vs. Sam Houston State. The Aurora, Ohio, native also saw action at catcher against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and IUPUI. She scored two runs, including the game winner vs. Valparaiso as well as one in the finale against Iowa. Pavlick made good on 13 of her defensive chances behind the plate.
The banquet also honored the careers of the team's three seniors, Ashley Courtney, Maia Monchek and Erika Petruzzi. This trio has battled through all kinds of adversity, yet continued to provide a positive attitude and diverse skillset to the Boilermakers. Collectively, they have earned one All-Big Ten honor on the field and eight Academic All-Big Ten honors in the classroom. They have also made their presence known through community service efforts. This trio has beaten two Top 25 opponents as Boilermakers, including a victory over No. 21 Nebraska earlier this season, while posting a 110-97-2 overall record and finishing the top half of the Big Ten three times.
The epitome of a team player, Courtney has endured through personal hardships, but focused on team success instead of individual adversity. A three-time winner of the team's Heart of a Champion Award, Ashley has filled whatever role necessary going from a reserve player to a three-year starter. All told, she has seen action in 183 games, starting 179 at first or second base. A third team All-Big Ten selection as a junior, the West Lafayette native boasted a .350 average and earned a spot on the single season on-base percentage list. For her career, AC has batted .253 with 68 RBI and 63 runs. Along with Erika Petruzzi, Ashley is one of the founders of the IMPACT program, which encourages Purdue student-athletes to get involved at local elementary schools. She also has spearheaded the team's Light The Night fundraising efforts, which have raised more than $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society over the last four years. A public relations and strategical communications major, the three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection is set to graduate next week.
An example of perseverance, Monchek did not let an ACL injury hold up her progress as a Boilermaker or keep her positivity down. She started 40 games as a rookie before the knee injury cut short her freshman campaign and surgeries took her sophomore season entirely, but that couldn't stop her from making an impact on the team. Maia bounced back and returned to the starting lineup her junior year, where she has stayed the last two seasons. She has even saved her best for last, posting a .300 average this year. All told, the San Mateo, Calif., native has seen action in 145 games, starting 137 in the outfield or as the designated player. She owns a career average of .277 with 60 RBI, 34 runs scored and four home runs. An organizational leadership and supervision major, the two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection is set to graduate in December.
A true utility player, Petruzzi has done it all for the Boilermakers, including pitching, playing in the outfield and at designated player. Whatever the task, Petruzzi has gone in full force, whether it meant starting in the outfield and taking over in the circle early in her career or just being a consistent bat in the lineup as a senior. Erika has seen action in 186 games, starting 171. She has batted .275 with 89 RBI, 77 runs scored and 15 home runs. The Carmel, Ind., native boasts spots on the single-game record list for home runs, launching a pair of long balls three separate times in her career, including twice against Indiana. She also tied the record for stolen bases in a game, with three against Hampton in this year's season opener. Petruzzi also lent her arm to the circle, seeing action in 37 games, starting 16, while posting a 9-7 record and a save. Along with Ashley Courtney, Erika is one of the founders of the IMPACT program, which encourages Purdue student-athletes to get involved at local elementary schools. A human services major with minors in organizational leadership and supervision and sociology, the three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection is set to graduate in December.