WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Boilermakers continue their homestand this week, hosting Fort Wayne (7-22) in a mid-week contest and Iowa (6-20, 0-3 Big Ten) over the weekend. Purdue (13-21, 3-0 Big Ten) is coming off a three-game sweep of Michigan State to open conference play that featured two victories in walk-off fashion.
Purdue is in the midst of a hot-streak with a 10-5 record in its last 15 games, capped off by three wins to open Big Ten play. Kaitlynn Moody was impressive throughout the series, allowing just four runs in 17.1 innings of work while hitting .667 (4-6) with a walk and a run scored. Her efforts against MSU, now give Moody a 2.95 ERA with five wins on the season. Maya Hughes fueled the offense against the Spartans and continues to be the catalyst, serving as the leadoff hitter for the Boilermakers. The junior outfielder hit .545 (6-11) with four runs scored, three RBI and two walks in the series. She’s now hitting .407 with a .437 on-base percentage and 28 runs scored on the year. Hughes leads the Big Ten with 46 hits and is second with 12 stolen bases.
Fort Wayne has not played since its win over Toledo on March 22 since its conference-opening series was cancelled due to weather. The Mastadons have struggled this season, posting a 5.95 ERA without a single pitcher below a 4.85 ERA. Sophomore utility player, Lauren Watson has been Fort Wayne’s most consistent offensive threat, hitting .379 with a .416 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot. However, another underclassman has emerged as Brooke Imel has hit .360 in limited action. The freshman has nine hits in 25 at-bats with six runs batted in and seven runs scored. Neither pose a threat to go yard as the two Matadors have yet to register a home run on the season.
The Hawkeyes headed into conference play on a hot-streak as they won four of their five contests in the Hawkeye Classic prior to being stunned by the Illini in three-straight games. Iowa will rely heavily on its pitching staff that has combined for a 3.47 ERA this season with Shayla Starkenburg and Allison Doocy leading the way. Starkenburg and Doocy are credited with all six of Iowa’s victories as Starkenburg owns a 2.46 ERA and Doocy has pitched well enough for a 3.66 ERA. The Hawkeyes have struggled to generate offense this season as they have just three student-athletes hitting above .250 on the year. Kaitlyn Mullarky leads the offense with a .271 batting average and a .414 slugging percentage thanks to seven doubles and a homer. Lea Thompson and Devin Cantu are hitting .275 and .262 respectively in limited action as Thompson has just 40 at-bats and Cantu has 42 compared to Mullarkey’s 70.
Purdue vs. Fort Wayne: Purdue leads 9-0
Home: Purdue leads 9-0
Streak: Purdue has won nine in a row
Purdue vs. Iowa: Iowa leads 42-12
Home: Iowa leads 27-5
Away: Iowa leads 12-6
Neutral: Iowa leads 3-1
Streak: Iowa has won one in a row