April 5, 2004
The University of Notre Dame softball team (28-10, 4-0) will take a day out of conference competition Tuesday afternoon and play host to the Purdue Boilermakers (22-12, 0-2 in the Big Ten) at Ivy Field (4 p.m.). The Irish are coming off a 5-1 week and 4-0 start in the BIG EAST Conference, sweeping home doubleheaders from Connecticut and Boston College over the weekend. Purdue dropped its first Big Ten doubleheader of year against #9 Michigan last weekend.
STENGLEIN NAMED BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE WEEK:
Junior Steffany Stenglein landed her second straight BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week award on Monday, winning three games last week – including two conference victories. Stenglein limited her opponents to just one earned run in 19 innings last week, posting a 3-0 record and 0.37 ERA. She pitched 12 innings of league competition, allowing a single unearned run and striking out 13 while walking just one batter.
The pitcher of the week award is the second of the season for Stenglein, who is currently 11-6 on the season with a 1.77 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 103.0 IP.
NOTRE DAME – PURDUE SERIES ANALYSIS:
Notre Dame and Purdue will be meeting for the 15th and 16th time on Tuesday, with the Irish holding an 8-6 advantage in the series … the teams have met each season since 1997 … Purdue won the first five meetings, followed by Notre Dame winning eight of the last nine … the Irish carry a six-game win streak into Tuesday’s meeting … Notre Dame defeated Purdue twice (7-3 and 7-1) in West Lafayette last season.
PURDUE TEAM PREVIEW:
The Boilermakers are 22-12 this season and 0-2 in Big Ten action … the Boilers recently suffered a huge loss to injury, when Andrea Hillsey (.280, 18 RBI, 11 SB) was lost for the season with a knee injury … Tricia Lilley leads the team in hitting with a .389 average and 24 RBI … Brooke Baker leads the pitching staff with a solid 13-3 record and 1.67 ERA (81 Ks in 121.1 IP) … Purdue actually has a winning record at Ivy Field, as the Boilermakers are 3-2 on Notre Dame’s home field … their last trip to campus came in 2002, a 4-2 Notre Dame victory.
A LOOK AT THE LAST 10 GAMES:
Since returning from its travels across the country early this season, Notre Dame has won 11 of 12 games … taking a look at the last 10 games, Notre Dame’s hottest hitter has been junior third base Liz Hartmann with a .429 average (12-28, four 2B, two HR, five RBI) … Meagan Ruthrauff leads the Irish in RBI over that stretch with 16 (batting .379) … Steffany Stenglein, a two-time conference pitcher of the week, is logically the hottest pitcher on the team, going 5-0 with four complete games, two shutouts and 41 strikeouts in 32.0 IP … her ERA in her last five starts is 0.22 (one earned run).
NOTRE DAME IN THE BIG EAST STAT BOOK:
The BIG EAST Conference has released its updated statistics for the conference teams … in all games, the Irish pitching staff has been the best, posting a 1.67 staff ERA (Seton Hall is second with a 1.84 ERA) … junior Megan Ciolli is third in the conference for batting average (.410) … Heather Booth’s 1.13 ERA is second in the league for all games … Meagan Ruthrauff, by virtue of her 20 walks this season and 36 hits, leads the league in on-base percentage (.468).
LAST WEEKEND IN THE BIG EAST:
Notre Dame began the BIG EAST schedule with a 4-0 weekend, but there were several other league team who posted impressive results … Villanova also went 4-0 to move to 6-0 in conference play and take over first place from Virginia Tech … the Wildcats swept Pittsburgh 13-2 and 5-1, then took two at Virginia Tech 8-2 and 7-0 … Virginia Tech drops to 4-4 in conference play … Providence, led by player of the week Michelle Willette, split doubleheaders with Seton Hall and St. John’s to move to 4-4 in the league … Providence won only four league games total in 2003.