WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The Purdue softball program held its annual postseason banquet Monday following its sweep of Nebraska and honored several student-athletes while celebrating the 2016-17 school year. With their three wins over Nebraska the Boilermakers finish the regular season 20-35 overall and 9-14 in the Big Ten and enter the Big Ten Tournament as a nine seed in Boo De Oliveira's first season as a head coach.
The first of Purdue's six awards went to senior Katie Johnson as she was awarded Standout Performance in a Single Event for her complete game victory over Indiana in game two of a doubleheader on March 4. The senior out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, allowed just one run in seven innings while striking out four Hoosiers, three of which were for the third out of the inning. Trailing by one in the top of the seventh, she provided Purdue's only offense of the ballgame with a single to drive in a pair of runs and claim the 2-1 victory in Bloomington, Indiana.
Maya Hughes was awarded the Offensive Catalyst of the Year Award for her performance this season in the leadoff spot for the Boilermakers. Hughes has taken her game to new heights in her junior season as Purdue's starting centerfielder, hitting .337 with a team-leading 62 hits and 43 runs complemented by 13 runs batted in, three doubles, three triples and 17 stolen bases.
Many of Hughes' 43 runs were driven in by the Clutch Hitter of the Year Award winner, Mallory Baker. The sophomore is another Boilermaker who has taken her game to another level in 2017 as she led Purdue with a .351 batting average, .448 slugging percentage, .440 on-base percentage, 28 runs batted in and 12 extra-base hits. Baker also scored 29 runs for Purdue and was a perfect 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts on the year.
Newcomer of the Year was awarded to Kaitlynn Moody as she thrived in her role as a Boilermaker since transferring from IUPUI last offseason. The sophomore posted a 3.77 earned run average while tallying eight wins and seven complete games. She made an impact with the bat as well, logging 18 hits to drive in six runs while scoring five of her own. In order to keep her bat as an option in the lineup she challenged herself to learn how to play right field.
The Boilermaker Pride Award was earned by Kristin Hoppman as the senior made the 205th start of her collegiate career and played in her 212th game out of a possible 222 appearances. This season she leads the Big Ten with 26 stolen bases and has hit .287 in the two hole for the Boilermakers. Of her even 50 hits on the year she registered four doubles, three triples and a home run while driving in 15 runs and scoring 25.
The final award of the night is the most prestigious of honors within the Purdue softball program. The GFDF Award is given to the student-athlete that exemplifies the program's core values of Grit, Family, Discipline and Fortitude. This year's recipient is Erika Beeler for her passion for the game and dedication to the program.