May 7, 2014
Sharon J. Drysdale Field - Evanston, Ill.
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Video (Friday-Saturday): BTN
Thursday, May 8
Noon vs. Indiana
Friday, May 9
With a win; Noon vs. Minnesota
Saturday, May 10
3:30 p.m. vs. winner of Nebraska vs. OSU/PSU
8:30 p.m. Championship game
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: Purdue (26-27-1, 13-10 Big Ten) earned the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament after posting a 13-10 record in league play and winning five of its eight conference series. The team returns 17 players from its 2013 squad which posted a 21-32 mark, an 8-14 Big Ten mark and Big Ten Tournament second round appearance. Seven position starters and three starting pitchers return, while five newcomers join the roster. Head coach Kim Schuette is in her first season with the Boilermakers after spending the last eight years as head coach at Eastern Illinois.
Last Time Out: The Boilermakers posted a 1-2 record against No. 12 Minnesota last weekend in West Lafayette to wrap up the regular season. Purdue topped the Golden Gophers 3-0 on Friday, but fell 9-1 and 7-2 on Saturday and Sunday. The team celebrated in seven seniors at a pregame ceremony and postgame banquet on Sunday.
Statistically Speaking: Outfielder Andie Varsho leads the Boilermaker bats with a .418 average, 42 runs, 14 doubles and 25 stolen bases. Five other starters are batting .250 or better. Designated player Katy McJunkin (.355), first baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.343), catcher Danielle Fletcher (.333), infielder Tori Chiodo (.333) and outfielder Maia Monchek (.271) round out the group. Burkhardt has driven in a team-best 41 RBI and boasts 13 doubles and nine home runs. Fletcher has driven in a 40 RBI, while registering 10 home runs and 11 doubles. Chiodo has driven in 37 RBI and scored 32 runs, while also launching eight home runs and stealing seven bases. Outfielder Lindsey Rains (.245) adds 20 RBI, 24 runs, three homers and 10 steals. As a team, the Boilers are batting .294 with 39 home runs and 62 stolen bases.
In the circle, the Purdue staff has combined for 273 strikeouts in 348 innings. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (20-15) has done the bulk of the pitching, striking out 188 batters in 210 innings, including 26 complete games. Junior Lexy Moore (4-9) has added 53 Ks in 76 innings, while junior Alex Whittemore (2-2) has issued 21 Ks in 45 innings, including a complete-game no-hitter. Senior Lauren Grant has struck out 11 batters in 16 innings.
Indiana (Purdue leads the series 27-18): The Hoosiers won seven of the first eight games in the series with the Boilermakers which began on March 26, 1994. Purdue snapped the streak on April 15, 1998, and went on to win 10 of the next 11 through May 3, 2003, with two five-game streaks. The teams split the next eight games, but the Boilers put together a six-game win streak from May 5, 2007 to May 9, 2009. Indiana countered with five of the next six, but Purdue has taken six of the last seven, including the first two of the series on April 5-6. Purdue is 13-7 against IU in West Lafayette and 14-11 in Bloomington.
Minnesota (Minnesota leads the series 23-21): The teams split the first 10 meetings in the series which began on April 29, 1995. Minnesota started a four-game win streak in 1998. The Boilermakers won three of the next five from 1999 to 2001. The Gophers won three in a row after that. Since 2004 Purdue has won 12 of the 18 meetings, including five staight from April 24, 2005 to April 14, 2007 and three in a row from March 29, 2009 to May 2, 2010. The teams did not play in 2013, but Minnesota took two of three games in 2012 in Minneapolis. Minnesota took two of the three games in the series May 2-4, 2014. Purdue is 9-14 vs. the Gophers in West Lafayette, 11-8 in Minneapolis and 1-1 in nuetral games.
What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top Indiana on Thursday ...
They will move to 27-27-1 on the season.
They will have won their third Big Ten Tournament game in 11 tries (also one in 2007 and 2013).
They will record the sixth postseason victory in program history (three at the Big Ten Tournament, three in NCAA play - one in 2008 and two in 2009).
They will have taken three of four games from the Hoosiers in 2014 and move to 28-18 in the all-time series.
They will move to 40-51-1 all-time in the month of May, including a 3-4 mark when playing on May 8.
An Inkling About Indiana
At First Glance: The Indiana Hoosiers (17-38-1, 5-18 Big Ten), the No. 11 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, wrapped up the regular season on a three-game losing streak. The Hoosiers return 14 letterwinners, including seven starters and three pitchers, from the 2013 team that posted a 19-35 record and finished 12th in the Big Ten. Indiana is coached by Michelle Gardner, who is in her sixth year with the team.
Last Time Out: Indiana dropped all three games of its final Big Ten series with No. 19 Nebraska, falling 3-1, 3-0 and 8-3 in Lincoln last weekend.
Statistically Speaking: Shortstop Breanna Saucedo paces the Hoosier offense with a .335 average, 29 runs, two triples and 16 stolen bases. Five other IU players are batting .250 or better. First baseman Kassi Farmer (.297), outfiedler Brianna Meyer (.282), outfielder Natalie Lalich (.273), catcher Kelsey Dotson (.254) and outfielder Jenna Abraham (.252) make up the group. Farmer has driven in a team-best 23 RBI with seven home runs and seven doubles, and has scored 26 runs. Dotson also has driven in 23 RBI with six doubles and five homers. Abraham has added 19 runs, a triple, three home runs and 11 steals. Catcher/infielder CaraMia Tsirigos (.207) has accounted for 15 RBI and five long balls. As a team, Indiana is batting .251 with 28 home runs and 43 stolen bases.
Junior Lora Olson (8-17), sophomore Brooke Boetjer (4-6) and senior Meaghan Murphy (5-15) have split the pitching duties for the Hooisers. Olson has struck out 94 batters in 141 innings, including six complete games. Murphy has added 103 Ks in 108 innings with five complete games, while Boetjer has chipped in 89 Ks in 106 innings and picked up two saves. The IU staff is allowing opponents to hit at a .304 clip with 56 home runs.
Getting to Know the Gophers
At First Glance: The No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers (38-9, 16-6 Big Ten) have won 11 of their last 15 games heading into the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers return 14 letterwinners from the 2013 team that posted a 36-19 record, finished third in the Big Ten and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota is coached by Jessica Allister, who is in her fourth year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Gophers went 2-1 against Purdue last weekend in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers won the opener 3-0, but fell 9-1 and 7-2 in the last two contests.
Statistically Speaking: Third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson leads the Gopher bats with a .409 average, 44 RBI, 16 doubles, eight home runs and 36 runs. Shortstop Tyler Walker follows with a .389 average, a team-best 45 runs, 13 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs, 44 RBI and a team-leading 14 stolen bases. Pitcher Sara Groenewegen (.288), catcher Taylor LeMay (.266) and outfielder Sydney Fabian (.250) also boast averages of .250 or better. Groenewegen has lifted nine home runs and driven in 38 RBI. LeMay has scored 32 runs and launched 11 home runs, while Fabian has scored 21 runs and added five doubles and two home runs. Second baseman Erica Meyer (.252) has scored 28 runs, launched five homers and stolen nine bases. As a team, Minnesota is batting .284 with 55 home runs and 62 stolen bases.
Senior Sara Moulton (24-6) and Groenewegen (12-2) have split time in the circle for the Gophers. Moulton boasts a 1.69 ERA with 214 strikeouts, 11 shutouts and a save in 174 innings of action. Groenewegen has issued 164 Ks to go with five shutouts and three saves in 98 innings, and owns a 2.27 ERA. Sophomore lefty Nikki Anderson (2-1) has a 1.63 ERA, 43 strikeouts and one save in 34 innings. The staff is holding foes to a .188 average.
Five Boilers Named to All-Big Ten Teams
Five Boilermaker players were among the 36 players named to the All-Big Ten first and second teams on Wednesday. Senior outfielder Andie Varsho and junior first baseman Ashley Burkhardt were first team selections, while senior third baseman Tori Chiodo, senior catcher Danielle Fletcher and sophomore pitcher Lilly Fecho garnered second team acclaim.
Five honorees are the most for the Boilermakers in a season in program history, surpassing four selections in 1997 and 2009. Until 2013, three teams of 12 players each were selected for All-Big Ten honors. In 2013, the conference began selecting two 18-member teams and an all-defensive team.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 49th nationally in doubles per game (1.44). Individually, senior Andie Varsho ranks among the national top 50 in batting average (45th with .418) and stolen bases per game (49th with 0.46). Junior Ashley Burkhardt ranks 23rd nationally in sacrifice flies (4). Sophomore pitcher Lilly Fecho is 40th nationally in wins (20), 46th in strikeouts (188) and 48th in shutouts (6).