WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The Purdue softball program adds three transfers to its roster with the addition of Jenny Behan, Halle Hixenbaugh and Molly Meenan. Hixenbaugh hails from Boston College while Behan and Meenan are both coming off of an NCAA Regional appearance with James Madison University.
"I am happy to welcome Jenny, Halle, and Molly to the Boilermaker softball family," said head coach Boo De Oliveira. "It is exciting to have student-athletes choose to join our program who have power five conference experience, who will embrace our GFDF (Grit, Family, Discipline, Fortitude) Culture, and who expect to win. With our current roster, incoming freshmen, and our new transfers - the future looks bright for Purdue softball."
Hometown: Mundelein, Illinois
Previous School: James Madison University
High School: Carmel Catholic
A product of the Beverly Bandits, Behan made 14 starts and appeared in 59 contests for a James Madison team that went to the NCAA Tournament both years she was a Duke. JMU is fresh off a regional appearance in 2017 after advancing to a super regional in 2016. She made the most of her limited plate appearances this past season as she registered a .294 batting average with eight hits in 27 at-bats with five runs batted in and five runs scored. Behan owns 12 records at Carmel Catholic, including career batting average (.482), home runs (53), RBI (205), runs (184) and hits (226). Her 53 homers rank third all-time in the state of Illinois and she hit .435 or better in each of her four high school seasons.
What They're Saying: Boo De Oliveira:"Jenny has competed at the highest level of softball, both in travel ball as a Beverly Bandit where she was a National Champion and at JMU where she annually competed for a conference championship and a run at the Women's College World Series. She brings a lot of power potential to our line-up; She hits gaps and has the ability to hit the long ball. On defense, she is very versatile being able to compete at first base, third base, and the outfield. We are excited to see Jenny help our roster become more powerful."
Jenny Behan: "I chose Purdue because it exceeded my expectations on all platforms athletically and academically. The coaching staff provides a family atmosphere, familiarity in my relationship with Coach Riv, and overall knowledge about the game because it is a staff that has been around the game for a long time and at the highest levels. Academically, the resources and help I've seen even in just the transfer process has been extremely helpful and I know I will be challenged but supported in my academics here. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the girls and being a part of the quickly growing championship program."
Hometown: Osceola, Indiana
Previous School: Boston College
High School: Penn High School
Hixenbaugh will provide depth at second base and in the outfield while also pressuring defenses with her speed as a left-handed slapper. Like Behan, the former Boston College Eagle made the most of limited playing time in 2017. As a freshman, Hixenbaugh started all 11 of the games in which she played and recorded nine hits in 29 at-bats for a .310 batting average with three doubles, five runs batted in and four runs scored. She shined in her junior season at Penn High School, hitting .432 and ranked top five in school history for hits in a single season as well as runs scored.
What They're Saying: Boo De Oliveira: "Halle is an Indiana native. We love when the most talented student-athletes in the state choose to be Boilermakers. She will bring needed speed to our roster, as well as a love for Purdue traditions. She is a slapper who can also put the ball into gaps. Halle will compete at second base, as well as in the outfield. With having one of our best base stealers graduate, it will be a huge asset to have Halle help our offense be able to put more pressure on the defense. It will be fun to see fellow speedsters senior Maya Hughes and incoming freshmen Ryleigh Scott combine with Halle to take bases."
Halle Hixenbaugh: "Growing up in Indiana, I've always been a Purdue fan. Purdue's top tier academics combined with a competitive Big Ten schedule is something that really grabbed my attention. One of the main reasons why I chose Purdue was because of the great people there. The positive and welcoming atmosphere is definitely something I am happy to be a part of, and I couldn't be more excited for my next three years as a Boilermaker."
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Previous School: James Madison University
High School: Revenswood School For Girls
Meenan also transfers to Purdue following her freshman season and saw limited action in the circle for James Madison due to playing behind the NFCA Division I National Player of the Year. In her lone appearance, she provided the Dukes with the outs they needed as she combined with Megan Good for a shutout of UMass Lowell. Over winter break, she went back to Australia to lift New South Wales to win the Gilley Shield in Australia's Softball Open Women's Championship.
What They're Saying: Boo De Oliveira:"Molly will be a great addition to our roster. She is our lone left-handed pitcher. She can also hit left-handed and compete in the outfield. She has championship experience at JMU and also internationally competing in Australia. Molly changes speeds effectively and will be a good complement to our current pitching staff. We look forward to having Molly bring more depth to our bullpen."
Molly Meenan: "When looking for a new university, I wanted to find somewhere that would challenge me as a person, and that would provide me with the best resources in sport and academics. Purdue is one of those colleges that offers unlimited opportunities. I feel so blessed that I get to experience a place with such an amazing campus, caring people and state of the art facilities. Coach Boo has been so incredibly welcoming and as I researched more into Purdue's campus and environment, I felt as though this could be my next home and that these new teammates could become my next family."
"Coming from Australia, I am so far from home, so I wanted my next adventure to be somewhere in the heart of the United States, where I felt safe in a family based community. I am excited to train in such amazing facilities and to explore the campus. I can't wait to get involved in different events on campus, to watch football games, cheer on fellow Boilermaker athletes, and to experience a true American college lifestyle that is so different to Australia. Boiler up!"