In just 18 short years, Purdue softball has gone from an up-start program getting its feet wet in Division I to one that is garnering national recognition. The Boilermakers reached many milestones during the 12-year tenure of head coach Carol Bruggeman, who guided the program from its inception through the 2005 season. The tradition has continued during the last six seasons under head coach Kim Maher, who guided the program to its first postseason victory at the 2007 Big Ten Tournament and back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances in 2008 and 2009.
The Boilermakers are looking forward to creating an image for their team, one of excellence, class, aggressive play and hard-working enthusiasm, a tradition future teams will be proud to uphold. "In looking at Purdue softball, the outlook is very exciting," Bruggeman said in the 1994 media guide. "We hope to be a very competitive team and become a force in the years to come."
A look at the history of Purdue softball, including team and program milestones follows.
January 1993 - Carol Bruggeman is hired to spearhead the Boilermaker softball team as the program's first head coach.
- Purdue fields its first softball team with 16 players hailing from four different states.
- The Boilermakers post a 21-17-1 record. The 21 wins are the most victories for a first-year program in Big Ten softball history.
- Second baseman Jenny Blasnick is named second team All-Mideast Region after posting a .362 average, 26 RBI, 21 runs and 15 extra-base hits.
- Shelly Antey and Yvette Pinter receive Academic All-Big Ten honors.
- Catcher Susan Denny is named team MVP.
March 5, 1994 - Purdue plays its inaugural contest at the Hampton Inn-Lady Pirate Invitational in Greenville, N.C., falling to Canisius 10-2.
March 6, 1994 - In just their third contest of the year, the Boilermakers post their first win, defeating UNC-Wilmington 5-1 at the Hampton Inn-Lady Pirate Invitational.
March 26, 1994 - Susan Denny launches the team's first home run against Northern Illinois.
April 19, 1994 - Deana Jackson throws Purdue's first no-hitter in a 9-0 win over IPFW just 28 games into the team's inaugural campaign.
- Fourteen newcomers, including 13 freshmen, join with eight returning players to take part in the team's first Big Ten campaign. Purdue manages a 23-31 record, including an 8-20 effort in its first season of conference play.
- Outfielder Jenny Schoen is named first team All-Mideast Region after posting a .353 average, 39 runs, 27 RBI, 22 stolen bases and 22 extra-base hits.
- Catcher Susan Denny and Schoen garner second team All-Big Ten acclaim. Denny batted .390 with 38 RBI, 13 doubles and a .983 fielding percentage.
- Denny garners team MVP for the second straight season.
- Four players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Jennifer Blasnick, Susan Denny, Jody Meister and Cheri Teranishi.
March 22, 1995 - Purdue plays its first game at the newly minted Varsity Softball Complex and posts its first win in the facility, taking down Miami (Ohio) 3-2 and 3-1 in the home-opening doubleheader.
March 25, 1995 - Purdue plays its first ranked opponent in No. 5 Michigan.
April 2, 1995 - Purdue posts its first Big Ten victory with a 6-2 win over Iowa, Bruggeman's alma mater.
- Purdue posts a 36-21 record, including a 12-11 mark in Big Ten play, good for sixth place out of 10 teams.
- Catcher Susan Denny garners first team All-Mideast Region honors, while designated player Jennifer Blasnick, infielder Sam Mercier and utility player Angie Myers earn second team accolades.
- Pitcher Jenn Markert earns first team All-Big Ten honors, while second baseman Sam Mercier and outfielder Mandy Smart garner second team honors.
- Jenny Schoen garners first team Academic All-District V honors.
- Six players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Jennifer Blasnick, Kim Dennis, Jaime Martino, Jody Meister, Jenny Schoen and Shannon Whitmore.
March 15, 1996 - Purdue registers its first win over a ranked foe, defeating No. 11 Nebraska 4-2 at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose , Calif. The Boilermakers' second win over a ranked opponent followed later in the day as the team down No. 21 Pacific 3-2.
- The Boilermakers tally a 41-25 record, the best mark in program history, including a 14-12 record in Big Ten play, good for fourth place and earning the team a spot in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Boilermaker players earn back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Player of the Week honors: third baseman Kristie Boland (April 13), shortstop/designated player Jenn Blasnick (April 21) and center fielder Jenny Schoen (April 27).
- Pitcher Sheryl Scheve and outfielder Jenny Schoen earn first team All-Mideast Region honors
- Schoen and Blasnick garner first team All-Big Ten honors, while Mercier and Scheve earned second team accolades.
- Purdue's Varsity Softball Complex receives the 1997 National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Turface grounds Crew Maintenance Award.
- Susan Denny garners first team Academic All-District V honors.
- Eight players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Kristin Billen, Jennifer Blasnick, Kristie Boland, Susan Denny, Jaime Martino, Jody Meister, Jenny Schoen and Mandy Smart.
March 26, 1997 - Purdue records its 100th victory, defeating Ball State 3-1.
April 8, 1997 - Purdue defeats No. 8 Michigan, marking the first time the Boilermakers have beaten the Wolverines in program history.
- The Boilermakers post a 29-30 record and finish eighth in the conference with an 8-16 mark.
- Jenny Schoen becomes the first Academic All-America honoree in program history, earning first team accolades in the GTE/Verizon listings after garnering first team Academic All-District V honors.
- Pitcher Sheryl Scheve, utility player Denise Szany and infielder Sam Mercier earn second team All-Big Ten honors. Scheve ranks first in the league with 253 innings pitched and 47 appearances.
- Infielder Kristie Boland, outfielder Jenny Schoen and Szany are named second team All-Mideast Region.
- Seven players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Kristin Billen, Kristie Boland, Jacki Crawford, Jaime Martino, Shahara Nixon, Jenny Schoen and Mandy Smart.
- Purdue records a 30-26 mark, its first of nine straight 30-win seasons.
- Mandy Smart garners GTE/Verizon second team Academic All-America honors after earning first team Academic All-District V accolades.
- Freshman third baseman Katie Crabtree is named first team All-Mideast Region, while senior second baseman Sam Mercier caps her career with second team accolades.
- Mercier earns third team All-Big Ten honors, making her Purdue's first four-time honoree.
- Designated player/first baseman Denise Szany is named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 20.
- Mercier sets record for career at-bats with 769.
- Four players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Kristin Billen, Danica Maher, Mandy Smart and Lynne Tortorelli.
- Mercier is drafted by the Tampa Bay FireStix of the Women's Professional Softball League.
March 4, 1999 - Purdue defeats No. 7 Texas 6-5 at the Speedline Invitational in Tampa, Fla. The Longhorns mark the highest ranked team the Boilermakers have beaten in program lore.
March 30, 1999 - Crabtree hits an inside-the-park home run in a 6-5 win over Ball State.
- The Boilermakers post a 33-28 record and finish sixth in the conference with a 6-10 mark, earning a spot in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Third baseman Jesse Jones earns first team All-Mideast Region honors, while shortstop Crabtree grabs a second-team nod.
- Pitcher Meagan Dooley tosses a pair of no-hitters, the first for Purdue since 1994: a 1-0 victory over Temple on Feb. 19 and a 3-0 win over Iowa State on Feb. 26.
- Six players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Nicole Crouse, Crystal Inman, Danica Maher, Danika Nice, Shahara Nixon and Lynne Tortortelli.
March 31, 2000 - Purdue records its 200th victory, defeating Michigan State 3-0
April 29, 2000 - The Boilermakers battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a 16-inning contest, eventually snagging a 4-3 win. The game is the longest in Purdue history.
- The Boilermakers post a 34-24-1 record, including a win over 23rd-ranked Wisconsin.
- Purdue finishes fifth in the Big Ten but loses a three-way tie breaker, denying the team a trip to the Big Ten Tournament.
- Lynne Tortorelli earns GTE/Verizon third team Academic All-America honors.
- Outfielder Andrea Roush and first baseman Heidi Foster garner second team All-Mideast Region acclaim.
- Foster, Roush and shortstop Katie Crabtree are named first team All-Big Ten.
- Outfielder Andrea Roush is named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 30.
- Five players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Leighann Burke, Nicole Crouse, Danika Nice, Jill Paxson and Lynne Tortorelli.
- Tortorelli and Burke garner first team Academic All-District V honors.
- Purdue records 33-26 mark, including a then-school-record 10-game win streak from March 13 to March 24.
- The team notches 20 wins by the end of their spring break tour for the first time in program history.
- Crabtree sets career records for hits, runs, RBI, doubles, triples and home runs.
- Freshman second baseman Andrea Hillsey is named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 6.
- Outfielder Angi Roembke earns second-team All-Big Ten honors.
- Roembke and first baseman Heidi Foster garner second team All-Mideast Region accolades.
- Five players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Leighann Burke, Nicole Crouse, Jesse Jones, Angela Knight and Laura Martin.
- Purdue posts a 32-25 mark, including a school-record 12-game win streak from March 15 to March 28, 2003.
- Sophomore second baseman Andrea Hillsey becomes the first All-America honoree in program history, garnering first team honors as the nation's best second baseman. Hillsey, who ranked 10th nationally in batting average at .454, also is named to GTE/Verizon Academic All-America third team.
- The Boilermakers rank among the Top 25 nationally in five major statistical categories: batting average (10th, .302), scoring (19th, 4.90 runs per game), slugging percentage (20th, .443), fielding percentage (21st, .970) and stolen bases per game (23rd, 1.56).
- Hillsey and first baseman Heidi Foster garner first team All-Mideast Region and All-Big Ten honors, while catcher/third baseman Jesse Jones earns third team All-Big Ten accolades.
- The Boilermakers snap 12 single-season team standards, while individual players shatter nine career and nine single-season records.
- Foster sets career marks for home runs with 32, RBI with 147 and putouts with 2,047. Outfielder Andrea Roush sets sacrifice hits mark with 56, while outfielder Angi Roembke becomes stolen base record holder with 76. Pitcher Leighann Burke snaps records for ERA (1.84), shutouts (23), saves (13) and innings pitched (683.2).
- Hillsey garners Academic All-District V first team accolades, while Burke is named to the second team.
- Six players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Katie Absher, Leighann Burke, Andrea Hillsey, Jesse Jones, Angela Knight and Shelli Messer.
March 26, 2003 - Purdue records its 300th victory, defeating Loyola-Chicago 8-0.
- The Boilermakers register a 32-25 record, including an 18-9 non-conference mark to start the season.
- All-American second baseman Andrea Hillsey tears her ACL in a routine practice drill the day before the team's home opener and misses the remainder of the season.
- Outfielder Angela Knight earns second-team All-Big Ten honors.
- Freshman outfielder DaQueta Johnson earns Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Feb. 24, while freshman Brooke Baker is named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 29.
- Shortstop Tricia Lilley earns first team Academic All-District V accolades.
- Eight players garner Academic All-Big Ten honors: Katie Absher, Lauren Devich, Andrea Hillsey, Angela Knight, Diana LaRiva, Tricia Lilley, Shelli Messer and Becky Stone.
- Purdue tallies a 34-24-1 mark and earns its first Big Ten Tournament berth since 2000, while matching the program's highest Big Ten win total since 1997 with a 10-10 record.
- The Boilermakers post their first win over a Top 25 team since 2001, when they down No. 24 Iowa 2-1 on April 9.
- Second baseman Andrea Hillsey and third baseman Shelli Messer garner first team All-Mideast Region and second team All-Big Ten honors.
- Hillsey earns Big Ten Player of the Week honors twice (Feb. 15 and March 14), while Diana LaRiva earns Big Ten Pitcher of the Week accolades three times (Feb. 15, March 14 and April 25).
- Hillsey sets career records for runs (140), walks (116) and on-base percentage (.484), while also tying the season record for walks (40).
- Ten players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Katie Absher, Lauren Devich, Jamie Dum, Andrea Hillsey, Diana LaRiva, Tricia Lilley, Shelli Messer, Erika Peterson, Becky Stone and Catherine Zaworski.
Feb. 11, 2005 - Diana LaRiva throws the first perfect game in Purdue history with a five-inning effort against UMKC at the New Mexico State Invitational.
July 14, 2005 - Kim Maher is hired as the second head coach in program history, after spending six years as an assistant at the University of California.
- The Boilermakers post a 30-30 record, including a 7-12 Big Ten mark, good for ninth place. Purdue falls one win short of a Big Ten Tournament berth.
- Pitcher Diana LaRiva garners Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors on Feb. 14. Outfielder Tiffany Krcelich is named Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 28.
- Pitcher Brooke Baker sets career record for complete games with 56, while Diana LaRiva wraps up career strikeouts mark with 620.
- Shortstop Tricia Lilley earns Academic All-America third team honors after garnering Academic All-District V first team accolades.
- Lilley and five other players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors. Lauren Devich, Diana LaRiva, Erika Peterson, Becky Stone and Catherine Zaworski round out the group.
April 1, 2006 - Purdue records its 400th victory, defeating Penn State 3-1
April 4, 2006 - Three pitchers combine to throw a no-hitter against Ball State. Diana LaRiva goes three innings, Melissa Burns and Brooke Baker follow with two innings apiece to wrap up the 7-0 win. The Boilermaker pitchers face just 22 batters in the first trifecta no-hitter in Big Ten history and one of only a handful in the NCAA annals.
April 9, 2006 - Purdue tops No. 12 Michigan 5-4, marking Purdue's first ever win over the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, first win over Michigan since 1997 and first victory over a Top 15 team since 2000.
- Purdue tallies a 33-32-1 record, including a fifth-place league finish, its best since 2001, and a Big Ten Tournament berth.
- The Boilermakers not only make an appearance at the Big Ten Tournament, but top Iowa 4-1 in the first round of the tournament, marking the program's first-ever postseason victory. Purdue falls to eventual conference tournament champion Ohio State in the quarterfinal round.
- Purdue sets six team season marks: doubles (73), home runs (44), runs (308), total bases (706), walks (189) and complete games (52).
- Third baseman Ashley Hall and designated player Katie Mitchell garner first team All-Mideast Region and All-Big Ten honors.
- Pitcher Brooke Baker earns third team All-Big Ten accolades.
- Hall sets season marks for hits (85) and stolen bases (36), while Mitchell snaps records for home runs (14), RBI (54), runs (54) and slugging percentage (.697).
- Baker sets or ties season records for complete games (39), innings pitched (295.0), shutouts (12), games started (42), wins (26) and appearances (51).
- Career marks fall in seven individual categories as well. Baker wraps up her career as Purdue's leader in wins (71), complete games (95), starts (124), appearances (172) and innings pitched (875.1). Catcher Erika Peterson sets career marks for games played (239) and games started (238).
- Hall and Baker are named Big Ten Player and Pitcher of the Week on April 16.
- Four players earn Academic All-Big Ten honors: Candace Curtis, Katie Mitchell, Erika Peterson and Catherine Zaworski. Mitchell also garners Academic All-District V first team honors.
Feb. 18, 2007 - Pitcher Ashley DiDomenico tosses a school-record 12 innings in a 7-6 win over Iowa State, surpassing the previous game record of 10 innings pitched.
Feb. 23, 2007 - First baseman/designated player Katie Mitchell becomes the first player in Big Ten history to hit for the cycle against Florida International. Mitchell posts a first-inning double, a two-run home run in the third, a one-out triple in the sixth and an RBI single in the seventh.
- Purdue earns the first NCAA Tournament berth and victory in program history, while posting a 35-23 mark, including a 9-9 effort in conference play.
- The Boilermakers reach the Big Ten Tournament and earn the fifth seed, but fall to Minnesota in the opening round.
- The team reaches the 20-win milestone in just 28 games, marking the fastest journey to 20 wins in program lore. Purdue reaches the 30-win plateau in 44 contests, also the fastest road to the milestone in program history.
- The Purdue coaching staff of Kim Maher, Linda Garza and Boo Gillette is honored as NFCA Mideast Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
- Catcher Jenna Alexander, second baseman Kelly Miller and pitcher Suzie Rzegocki earns third team All-Big Ten accolades.
- Miller, shortstop Candace Curtis, third baseman Ashley Hall and first baseman Kelsey Haupert receive second team All-Mideast Region honors.
- Infielder Katie Mitchell is named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 10, while Alexander earns the honor on April 7.
- Purdue sets team season record with 97 sacrifice hits, a mark that also led the Big Ten.
- Hall breaks season and career triples records with eight and 14. Hall ranks third nationally in triples per game (0.17) and fifth in triples.
- Miller snaps season record for sacrifice hits with 25, ranking third in the nation in sacrifices per game (0.43) and first in the Big Ten.
- Seven players earn Academic All-Big Ten accolades: Jenna Alexander, Liz Allum, Candace Curtis, Sarah Killer, Katie Mitchell, Alicia Spack and Kaity Stratten.
Feb. 15, 2008 - Purdue defeats No. 7 Baylor at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas., marking the Boilermakers' first win over a Top 10 foe since 1999. The seventh-ranked Bears also mark the highest-ranked team a Purdue squad has defeated in program history (matching the win over No. 7 Texas on March 4, 1999).
May 17, 2008 - Purdue earns its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory with a 4-3 win over Cal State Fullerton in an elimination game at the Los Angeles Regional. The win earns the Boilermakers a rematch with No. 20 Nevada, which edges Purdue 2-1 to end the season.
- Purdue advances to the NCAA Regional Final, before ending the season with a 31-20 mark.
- In Big Ten play, the Boilermakers post a 12-8 record, its best league mark since 1997, good for sixth place.
- The team downs five opponents ranked in the Top 20, including a season-opening victory over No. 4 UCLA, which marked the highest ranked foe ever defeated by a Boilermaker squad. Victories over No. 10 Northwestern, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 19 Louisville also help the team to its most Top 25 wins since 1997.
- The Boilermakers earn their first ever national ranking on Feb. 10 as the No. 23 team in the ESPN.com/USA Today Top 25 Poll.
- Purdue players were hit by a pitch 45 times in 2009, marking a new school record.
- The team leads the Big Ten in stolen bases (100), hit by pitches, fielding double plays (21) and sacrifice flies (13). The Boilermakers rank 13th nationally in stolen bases per game (1.96) and 29th in double plays per game (0.41).
- First baseman Katie Mitchell sets Purdue career home runs record with 37.
- Infielder Liane Horiuchi snaps season record for stolen bases with 42, posting a perfect 42-for-42 mark, ranking first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally (0.82 per game). Horiuchi also was hit by a pitch a season-record tying 21 times, a tally which ranked fourth nationally (0.41 per game).
- Horiuchi and freshman player Molly Garst garnered second team All-Big Ten honors at third base and utility player respectively. Catcher Jenna Alexander and pitcher Suzie Rzegocki received third team acclaim.
- Dana Alcocer and Rzegocki garner Big Ten Pitcher of the Week nods on Feb. 9 and March 9 respectively. Shortstop Candace Curtis receives Player of the Week acclaim on May 11.
- Horiuchi and Curtis are honored with Academic All-District V accolades. Horiuchi, a movement and sport sciences major, earned first team honors, while Curtis, a management major, garners second team accolades.
- Nine Purdue players received Academic All-Big Ten acclaim: Jenna Alexander, Liz Allum, Candace Curtis, Liane Horiuchi, Shelby Krammer, Kelly Miller, Katie Mitchell, Alicia Spack and Kaity Stratten.
Feb. 7, 2009 - The Boilermakers kick off the 2009 season with the first win over a top five opponent in program history, knocking off No. 4 UCLA, 2-1 at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Classic.
Feb. 8, 2009 - Purdue downs Pacific 8-1 to garner head coach Kim Maher's 100th career victory.
April 16, 2009 - Purdue tops Valparaiso 7-1 to tally the 500th win in program history.
May 16, 2009 - The Boilermakers down UT Martin and No. 19 Louisville on Day 2 of NCAA Regionals to advance to the Louisville Regional championship game against No. 6 Arizona. A 4-2 loss to the Wildcats on May 17 ends Purdue's season.
- Purdue leads the nation in stolen bases per game (2.67).
- The Boilermakers extend streak of non-losing (.500 or better) seasons to 12 with 27-27 mark.
- In Big Ten play, the team finishes sixth, matching the 2009 finish.
- Purdue played 12 games against ranked opponents, beating No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette, and played 17 games against NCAA Tournament teams.
- The team set the game record for stolen bases with 12 against Michigan State, April 28. The tally ranks as the ninth most in Division I history.
- Players tied game records for individual home runs (2 twice), stolen bases (3 six times), runs (4 twice) and walks (3 twice).
- The team set a season record for stolen bases (140) and tied record for triples (18).
- Senior Liane Horiuchi and sophomore Molly Garst set season record for steals with 43 each. Junior Suzie Rzegocki set season record for strikeouts (216).
- Horiuchi set career record for stolen bases (85).
- Molly Garst was named first team All-Mideast Region.
- Two players garnered All-Big Ten acclaim (Molly Garst - 2nd team 3B; Liane Horiuchi - 3rd team SS)
- Six players garner Academic All-Big Ten honors. Horiuchi named Academic All-District V first team.
- The Boilermakers extend streak of non-losing (.500 or better) seasons to 13 with 30-18-2 mark.
- In Big Ten play, the team finishes fifth, the second best placing in program history, matching the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
- The team tied the game record for hits (18), doubles (7) and RBI (16).
- Players tied game records for individual home runs, stolen bases, and runs.
- The team set season record for batting average (.313) and slugging percentage (.462).
- Senior Suzie Rzegocki tied the season record for wins (26).
- Junior Molly Garst set the career record for stolen bases (102), while Rzegocki wrapped her career with the career marks for wins (86), appearances (174), starts (148), complete games (107), shutouts (29), innings pitched (940.2) and strikeouts (728).
- Freshman outfielder Andie Varsho was named first team All-Mideast Region.
- Three players garnered All-Big Ten acclaim (Lindsey Rains - 1st team OF; Lauren Grant - 3rd team UT; Andie Varsho - 3rd team OF)
- Boilermaker players garnered eight Big Ten Player, Pitcher or Freshman of the Week honors. Varsho was named Freshman of the Week four times and Player of the Week once. Garst, Rzegocki and freshman infielder Kim McMillan earned Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Week honors respectively once during the season.
- Six players garner Academic All-Big Ten honors. Shelby Krammer and Molly Garst named Academic All-District V.