Game Notes 13: #22 Michigan

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The Boilermakers will face off with #22 Michigan with a chance at the Big Ten title on Friday and Saturday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The Boilermakers will face off with #22 Michigan with a chance at the Big Ten title on Friday and Saturday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

May 9, 2012

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
Friday, May 11: 6 p.m. vs. Michigan TV: Big Ten Network LIVE; Play by Play - Dan Kelly; Color - Jennie Ritter
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Promotions: This is Michigan's Cancer Awareness Day. They will be wearing pink and encourage fans to do so as well.

Saturday, May 12: Noon vs. Michigan
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

2 p.m. vs. Michigan (25 min. following G1)
TV: Big Ten Network Tape-Delayed - Airs at 7:30 p.m.; Play by Play - Eric Collins; Color - Jennie Ritter
Radio: purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: A Purdue squad (31-19, 13-7 Big Ten) featuring 12 returning players and seven newcomers will battle the Michigan Wolverines with the Big Ten title on the line. 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 1-2 last week, dropping a Saturday doubleheader to Minnesota (5-3, 5-2), but rebounding with a 12-2 win on Sunday.

Statistically Speaking: The Boilermakers boast a .319 team batting average, including seven batters hitting at a .300 or better clip. Shortstop Molly Garst (.367), first baseman Ashley Courtney (.358) and outfielder Lindsey Rains (.356) and lead the way. Garst has scored a team-best 42 runs, tallied 14 doubles and stolen a team-leading 28 bases. Courtney has accounted for a 32 RBI, 13 doubles and three home runs. Rains has recorded 41 runs, 31 RBI, 24 stolen bases, four triples and three home runs. Outfielder Andie Varsho (.351), third baseman Tori Chiodo (.315), catcher Danielle Fletcher (.314) and pitcher/outfielder Erika Petruzzi (.303) also are batting over .300. Varsho has registered 35 runs, 30 RBI and 16 stolen bases, while Petruzzi has put up a team-best 33 RBI and added seven home runs. Fletcher also has launched seven home runs, while Chiodo, Garst and utility player Lauren Grant each have posted two long balls. All told, Purdue is averaging nearly six runs per game with 118 extra base hits and 96 steals.

Freshman Lexy Moore (20-10) leads the way in the circle, striking out 115 batters in 184 innings and posting a 3.27 ERA. Senior Katie Hackney (7-3) has issued 51 Ks in 70 innings. Freshman Alex Whittemore (3-4) has struck out 25 in 39 innings, while junior Erika Petruzzi (1-2) has struck out 10 in 25 innings.

Series Information
Michigan (Michigan leads the series 36-2): The Wolverines won the first nine games in the series, which began on March 25, 1995. Purdue ended the streak with a 3-1 win in West Lafayette on April 7, 1997. Michigan took the next 17 games, including two extra-inning affairs, before the Boilermakers posted a 5-4 win in Ann Arbor on April 9, 2006. Michigan has won the last 10 games. Purdue is 1-23 at home vs. the Wolverines and 1-13 in Ann Arbor. The team have played three extra-inning games.

What a Difference a Win Makes ...
If the Boilermakers top No. 22 Michigan on Friday...

• They will move to 32-19, matching the 2008 team's mark through 51 games, which accounted for the second most wins to the 1997 team's 33-18 mark in the 51-game span.

• They will move to 14-7 in Big Ten play, tying the 1997 team (14-12) for the most conference victories in program history.

• They will have defeated a ranked foe for the first time in 2012 in four tries (also #18 Oregon twice, #2 Cal). Purdue has topped eight ranked opponents under head coach Kim Maher.

• They will move to 36-42-1 all-time in the month of May, including a 3-3 mark on May 11.

Big Ten Scenerios
The Big Ten title race is still very much up in the air. With a three-game sweep of Michigan and an Iowa loss to Minnesota, the Boilermakers could take the Big Ten title with a 16-7 record. If Iowa were to sweep its three games with Minnesota and Michigan were to lose two games to Purdue, the Hawkeyes could steal the title. In that case, Purdue would take third with a 15-8 mark.

In the grand scheme of things, spots 1-7 in the conference are still up for grabs. If Purdue wins at least one game against Michigan, the Boilermakers can finish no lower than fourth.

Musings About Michigan
At First Glance: The No. 22 Michigan Wolverines (36-15, 15-5 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 went 3-0 last week, topping Eastern Michigan 4-2 in a midweek contest and sweeping a Saturday doubleheader with Wisconsin 7-5, 5-1.

Statistically Speaking: Pitcher/designated player Sara Driesenga and first baseman Amanda Chidester lead the Wolverine bats. Driesenga is batting .370 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 29 games, while Chidester boasts a .364 average with 21 extra base hits, including eight home runs, a team-best 40 RBI and 32 runs. Outfielders Bree Evans (.316) and Nicole Sappingfield (.313) also are batting over .300. Evans has stolen a team-best six bases and scored 28 runs, while Sappingfield has added four steals and 24 runs. Catcher Lauren Sweet (.287), outfielder Lyndsay Doyle (.285) and second baseman Ashley Lane (.268) follow. Doyle has scored 30 runs and swiped six bases, while Lane has added launched 11 home runs and driven in 36 RBI. Sweeyt has tallied 16 extra-base hits, including six home runs. As a team, Michigan is batting .286 with 43 home runs and 39 steals.

Freshman lefty Haylie Wagner (27-5) boasts a 1.55 ERA with 137 strikeouts, six shutouts and two saves in 203 innings. Driesenga (8-10) has struck out 61 batters in 119 innings with a shutout and three saves. Junior Stephanie Speierman (1-0) and senior lefty Hilary Payne also have seen time int the circle. The Wolverine staff has held opponents to a .224 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 third in triples per game (0.36), 10th in stolen bases per game (1.92), 12th in batting average (.319), 16th in doubles per game (1.44), 22nd in scoring (5.56 runs per game), 30th in slugging percentage (.460) and 33rd in double plays per game (0.38).

Individually, sophomore outfielder Lindsey Rains ranks 25th in triples (4) and 39th in stolen bases per game (0.48). Senior shortstop Molly Garst ranks 25th in stolen bases per game (0.56) and 48th in doubles per game (0.28).

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 18 triples, tying the program record for triples in season, which was set in 1994 and tied in 2010. The Boilermakers have drawn 172 walks, good for second-most all time. The 2012 squad also has racked up 72 doubles, second-most on the season list and just one away from the record of 73 set in 2007. The team has scored 278 runs, third most in school lore, and driven in 244 RBI, also good for third. Purdue has swiped 96 bases thus far in 2012, just three away from the 2011 team's fourth-place mark of 99.

Individually, catcher Danielle Fletcher has drawn 33 free passes, matching Jesse Jones' third place mark 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, now 146, is the second career mark for Garst, who also has posted a record 130 stolen bases.

With 44 doubles, Garst is tied for second place on the career listing, matching Lilley's mark of 44. Garst has tallied 234 hits, tying 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.

Streaky
The Boilermakers have experienced a roller coaster ride in 2012. Purdue won its first 10 games, marking the best start in program history. The team lost nine of its next 14 games, including three to ranked foes. After returning home from their spring break swing through California, the Boilermakers again hit the winning stride, winning their next eight contests, including seven at home. An April 5 loss to Notre Dame ended the string. Including that game, Purdue is 8-10 over the last 18 contests. The Boilermakers did manage a three-game win streak in the midst of the stretch.

The Purdue offense has experienced similar hot and cold streaks, although through all of the ups and downs, the team has avoided being shutout in 2012 (50 games). The Boilermakers piled up 10 or more hits in nine straight games during the opening 10-0 stretch. During the eight-game stretch midseason, Purdue tallied six or more hits per game, including eight or more in six of the wins. The team has managed three or more hits in all of its games, while posting 10 or more hits 16 times.

Sophomore Lindsey Rains put together a team-best 13-game hit streak from Feb. 25 to March 13 and also has put up streaks of five and six games. Junior Erika Petruzzi had hits in 10 straight games from march 31 to April 15 and also registered a six-game streak earlier in the year. Sophomores Danielle Fletcher and Andie Varsho have boasted nine game streaks. Fletcher's came Feb. 19 to March 2, while Varsho managed nine-game sets twice (Feb. 18-Feb. 26) and March 11 to March 24. Varsho ended an eight game stretch vs. Loyola (April 8-April 22).

Senior Molly Garst boasts the longest current streak at five games. Junior Ashley Courtney has reached base in seven straight games, the current team best. Fletcher reached base in a team-best 17 consecutive games, Feb. 18-March 11.