May 10, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker softball team looks to build on the postseason experience it garnered a year ago as Purdue makes its second consecutive NCAA Regionals appearance after earning an at-large bid Sunday night.
The Boilermakers will compete in the Louisville, Ky., regional with Arizona, Tennessee-Martin and Louisville beginning May 15. Purdue (29-18) is the No. 3 seed in the regional and will face off with the Louisville Cardinals (47-9) of the Big East.
The No. 9 overall seed Arizona (41-14) of the Pac-10 will face Tennessee-Martin (38-22) of the Ohio Valley Conference in the first game of double-elimination pool play on Friday.
"We are excited to have another opportunity to play in the postseason," head coach Kim Maher said. "It will give our younger players an opportunity for a new experience, while allowing us to build a tradition. We are going into the postseason with experience this year and a clean slate."
Purdue boasts a 29-18 record, including a 12-8 conference mark, good for sixth in the Big Ten standings and the program's best league record since 1997 (14-7). The Boilermakers faced off with 12 teams who made it into the Regional field, including five Big Ten foes. Purdue was listed at No. 52 in the latest RPI rankings released May 5.
The Boilermakers put together a nice resume in 2009, knocking off four Top 25 ranked teams and posting eight wins over the RPI Top 50. Purdue, which faced 11 NCAA Regional competitors from the 2008 field, knocked off No. 4 UCLA to start the 2009 season, then added wins over No. 18 Texas A&M, No 10 Northwestern and No. 14 Ohio State. The Boilermakers won nine of their last 13 games, including victories over the Wildcats and Buckeyes.
Purdue took on 12 teams listed in the RPI top 50 in UCLA (4), Michigan (8), Northwestern (11), Ohio State (12), Florida State (14), Georgia Tech (19), Iowa (24), Illinois (29), Auburn (30), Texas A&M (32), Jacksonville State (34) and Mississippi State (39). The Boilermakers faced off with six teams currently ranked in the NFCA Top 25: No. 3 UCLA, No. 8 Michigan, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 16 Florida State and No. 21 Georgia Tech.
More details regarding Purdue's NCAA Tournament appearance will be forthcoming on purduesports.com.