May 13, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three wins over Top 15 opponents, including a program-best tying effort against No. 4 Michigan, a no-hitter by junior Alex Whittemore and a program-best five All-Big Ten honorees highlighted the 2014 season, Purdue's first under head coach Kim Schuette.
Purdue (27-28-1, 13-10 Big Ten) finished the 2014 season with a 27-28-1 overall record, falling in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Boilermakers earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament after posting a 13-10 record in league play and winning five of its eight conference series. The Boilers played 14 games against Top 25 foes and faced 14 opponents that advanced to the NCAA Regionals.
Outfielder Andie Varsho led the Boilermaker bats with a .416 average, 45 runs, 16 doubles and 26 stolen bases. Five other starters batted .250 or better. Designated player Katy McJunkin (.363), first baseman Ashley Burkhardt (.346), infielder Tori Chiodo (.345), catcher Danielle Fletcher (.333), and outfielder Maia Monchek (.270) rounded out the group. Burkhardt drove in a team-best 43 RBI and boasted 13 doubles and 10 home runs. Fletcher accounted for 42 RBI, while registering 10 home runs and 12 doubles. Chiodo posted 38 RBI and scored 34 runs, while also launching nine home runs and stealing seven bases. Outfielder Lindsey Rains (.244) added 20 RBI, 24 runs, three homers and 10 steals. As a team, the Boilers batted .297 with 41 home runs and 63 stolen bases.
In the circle, the Purdue staff combined for 281 strikeouts in 361 innings. Sophomore Lilly Fecho (21-16) did the bulk of the pitching, striking out 196 batters in 223 innings, including 28 complete games. Junior Lexy Moore (4-9) added 53 Ks in 76 innings, while junior Alex Whittemore (2-2) issued 21 Ks in 45 innings, including a complete-game no-hitter. Senior Lauren Grant struck out 11 batters in 16 innings.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers ranked 38th nationally in doubles per game (1.46). Individually, senior Andie Varsho ranks among the national top 50 in batting average (44th with .416) and stolen bases per game (48th with 0.46). Junior Ashley Burkhardt ranks 29th nationally in sacrifice flies (4). Sophomore pitcher Lilly Fecho is 39th nationally in wins (21), 48th in strikeouts (196) and 50th in shutouts (6).
On the Honor Roll
A program-record five Boilermakers garnered All-Big Ten honors in 2014. Senior outfielder Andie Varsho and junior first baseman Ashley Burkhardt were named to the first team, while senior third baseman Tori Chiodo, senior catcher Danielle Fletcher and sophomore pitcher Lilly Fecho earned second team acclaim.
Burkhardt and Chiodo garnered Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Feb. 18 and March 24 respectively. Catcher/designated player Katy McJunkin garnered Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades twice, on March 31 and on April 21.
Varsho was named to USA Softball's Top 50 Player of the Year Watchlist and also as one of 30 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award.
In The Classroom
Senior Andie Varsho earned Academic All-District V honors, making her eligible for Academic All-America honors. A program-best 14 players, including Varsho garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors. The 14 honorees surpass the 2013 team's record 11 Academic All-Big Ten selections.
The Boilermaker softball team matched its biggest win in program history, topping No. 4 Michigan 3-2 in Game 1 of an April 23 doubleheader. The victory ties the program's Feb. 7, 2009, win over No. 4 UCLA as the highest ranked foe ever defeated by a Boilermaker side.
The Boilermakers also posted the eighth top 10 victory in program history when they defeated No. 10 Texas 5-4 on Feb. 9 at the Louisiana Classic in Lafayette, La. The victory was Purdue's first over a Top 10 foe since defeating No. 10 Northwestern on April 18, 2009.
A May 2 win over No. 12 Minnesota accounted for a third top 15 win in 2014.
Whittemore Throws No-Hitter vs. Mississippi Valley State
Junior pitcher Alex Whittemore tossed the 16th no-hitter in program history and first since 2010 in a 12-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Feb. 23. Whittemore issued four strikeouts in the contest and allowed just one walk. A throwing error accounted for MVSU's only other base runner in the game.
Fletcher Joins Elite Group with Grand Slam
Catcher Danielle Fletcher launched a grand slam in the team's April 5 contest with Indiana, marking the third of her career and just the 23rd in program history. She also added four-baggers twice against Texas State on March 3, 2013, and on Feb. 20, 2011. Eighteen different players have lifted a grand slam, but just four, including Fletcher, have done so more than once. Fletcher is just one of two, alongside DaQueta Johnson, with three grand slams to her credit.
Varsho Breaks Season Hit Streak, Career Hits Records
Senior outfielder Andie Varsho set two records during Purdue's weekend series with Indiana. With a fifth-inning single in Game 1 on April 5, she became the school's all-time career hits leader (256). The hit also gave her the Purdue record for longest hitting streak in a season (21), surpassing Ashley Hall's 20-game stretch during the 2007 season. With a third-inning single in Game 2 of the series, Varsho extended the hit streak to 22 games. The Hoosiers held her without a hit in the series finale.
Records: In A Game
Junior first baseman Ashley Burkhardt tied the school record for home runs in a game with two in Game 2 against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 14. The effort marked the 22nd time a Boilermaker has achieved the feat. Burkhardt becomes the 16th individual to do so.
Senior outfielder Andie Varsho tied the school game record for hits with a 5-for-5 effort against Bryant on March 14. Two other players have recorded five hits in a game: Angi Roembke (5-for-5) vs. Indiana, 4/14/02 and Molly Garst (5-for-6) vs. Troy, 2/26/12. Varsho had four singles, a double and two RBI in the contest.
Varsho tied the school record for doubles in a game with three in Game 3 of the series with Penn State, March 22. The effort matched that of Andrea Hillsey, who registered three doubles against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on March 3, 2002.
The Boilermakers posted 17 hits in the contest with Bryant, matching the second highest tally in program history. Purdue teams have posted a record 18 hits in a game six times and have managed 17 hit tallies seven other times last on April 17, 2007.
Purdue drew a school record 11 walks in Game 1 of the series with Penn State on March 21. The 11 free passes surpassed the previous record mark of nine, which had been recorded in five contests, last vs. Penn State on March 31, 2012.
Records: In A Season
The 2014 Boilermakers set a new program record for doubles in a season (82). That tally surpassed the 2012 team's record tally of 74. The team also ranked tied for second in home runs (41), third in slugging percentage (.447), on-base percentage (.374) and total bases (652), fourth in batting average (.297) and fifth in walks (162) and RBI (216).
In addition, senior Tori Chiodo earned the third place spot on the season list for walks (34). Junior Ashley Burkhardt ranked fifth in sacrifice flies (4). Senior Andie Varsho earned spots among the top five for batting average (3rd with .416), hits (tied for 3rd with 74), doubles (4th with 16), runs (5th with 45) and on-base percentage (5th with .490). Sophomore Lilly Fecho ranks tied for third in strikeouts (196) and fifth in complete games (28).
Varsho became Purdue's all-time career hits leader on April 5, surpassing Katie Crabtree (1999-2002), who tallied 255, wrapping her career with 275. The outfielder also set the Purdue standard for batting average (.398), topping Andrea Hillsey's career average of .374 (2002-05). Varsho also ranks second in stolen bases (105), runs scored (145), doubles (46) and on-base percentage (.464), tied for third in triples (11), tied for fourth in walks (82) and fourth in slugging percentage (.549).
Rains moved into the fifth place spot in career steals (74). Fletcher joined the Top 5 for RBI (4th with 129) and home runs (4th with 29). Chiodo is third in career walks with 84 and fifth in defensive assists (389).