IU Readies For Purdue

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The 2005 softball season comes to an end this weekend, as the Hoosiers close out the year with a two-game series against archrival Purdue. The first contest is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, in West Lafayette, Ind., while the series finale will take place on Sunday in Bloomington. Both games are slated to start at 1 p.m

    Purdue brings a 32-22-1 record, including an 8-10 Big Ten mark, into this weekend's action. The Boilermakers have just about wrapped up a spot in the conference tournament. PU can get as high as the fifth seed in the tournament, but they can also lose on a bid due to tiebreakers. The only way Purdue would be left out is if IU wins both games, combined with Illinois, Penn State and Minnesota sweeps. Details on the Big Ten Tournament scenario are explained later.

    The Boilermakers have dropped three of their last four and nine of 16. Their .270 team batting average is eighth in the conference. Senior Andrea Hillsey is the top bat in the lineup. Hillsey leads the team in hitting (.376), runs (41) and walks (36). She is tied for the team lead with eight home runs and is second with 31 RBI. Sophomore DaQueta Johnson tops the club with 42 RBI,fourth in the Big Ten, while adding eight home runs and a .258 average.

    Three pitchers make up the Boilermakers staff, which has a team ERA of 2.55. Sophomore Brooke Baker (14-14, 2.61) has appeared in 38 games with 24 starts. In 174.0 innings, she has given up 172 hits and 58 walks against 114 strikeouts. Junior Diana LaRiva (12-6, 2.12) has seen action in 30 games with 24 starts. In 129 innings, the right-hander has yielded just 102 hits. She also has 34 walks and 141 punchouts. Freshman Melissa Burns (6-2, 3.24) rounds out the staff with 23 appearances and seven starts. She has thrown 67 innings giving up 67 hits and 17 walks, while fanning 61 batters.

    IU holds a 21-20 edge in the series, but Purdue holds a 12-10 mark since 1994, the Boilermakers first year as a varsity program. The teams have split the last two years.

    Ashley Griffiths and Katie Witham, two four-year letterwinners, will both play their last game in a Cream and Crimson uniform on Sunday, May 8. Griffiths has played in 183 games with 177 starts, amassing 106 career hits. Witham has seen action in 89 games with 55 starts in the circle. During her freshman campaign, Witham led the team in ERA with a 3.32 mark.

    A 2000 REUNION
    Purdue assistant coach Brooke Monroe is in her first year as a Boilermaker assistant. Monroe was a four-year letterwinner at Indiana from 1999-2002, where she was teammates with IU assistants Stormy Hanson and Sherri Savko in 2000. Her 24 career home runs rank fourth all-time at IU. She is also fifth in school history with 94 RBI.

    Sophomore Rachel Terry and redshirt sophomore Tory Yamaguchi have been on fire in the Hoosiers last seven games. Terry is batting .529 (9-for-17) with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored, while Yamaguchi is hitting .348 (8-for-23) with three homers, five RBI and five runs scored.

    The Hoosiers can help keep their school's biggest rival out of the conference tournament, but it is not going to be easy. Aside from IU sweeping Purdue, Iowa needs to drop a pair to Illinois, Penn State must sweep Ohio State and Minnesota has to take both contests from Wisconsin. That scenario would give Purdue and Minnesota identical 8-12 records in the conference. Since the two programs split the season series, the next tiebreaker would be record against the other seven teams in the tournament. However, that would also represent a tie since both teams would be 5-9 against the competition. It would come down to the third tiebreaker, record against the No. 1 seed on down. Neither programshas a win over Northwestern or Michigan, so it would come down to the third seed. If Iowa is the third seed, which they can accomplish with just one win or a PSU loss, then Purdue gets in because cause they have a win over the Hawkeye. If Penn State moves up to No. three, Minnesota gets in due to a series split with the Nittany Lions.

    Sophomore Rachel Terry is the only Hoosier hitting over .300 in league play. Terry is 15-for-45 (.333) with three RBI , three runs scored and two doubles. Also fairing well in conferences games are freshmen Janetta Deaven (.275, 11-for-40) and Rachel Carlson (.273, 6-for-22) and redshirt sophomore Tory Yamaguchi (.268, 15-for-56 with three homer runs, nine RBI and eight runs scored).




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