After getting swept in a three-series against No. 10 Northwestern, Indiana softball will play a doubleheader Tuesday against in-state rival Purdue at Andy Mohr Field for the Crimson and Gold series.
The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played on April 13. However, a 99% chance of rain postponed the two games that day.
Purdue is ranked 11th in the Big Ten conference with a 20-26 overall record this season and is 3-11 in Big Ten play. Within the last three weeks, Purdue went 1-2 against Maryland, winless in a three-game series at then No. 6-ranked Northwestern and 1-2 against Michigan State. Purdue snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against Michigan State on Sunday.
Purdue senior shortstop Rachel Becker has a .411 batting average, the highest of all Boilermaker players. She also has the highest on-base plus slugging percentage with a 1.131 average this season.
Senior pitcher Alex Echazarreta enters the doubleheader as the Boilermakers’ ace in the circle. She has a 3.37 earned run average and a 9-6 record in 87.1 innings pitched.
“I hope people come out on Tuesday against Purdue,” head coach Shonda Stanton said. “It’s going to be a great matchup, and it’s a great rivalry.”
Although Indiana won last year’s rivalry series 3-1, Purdue leads the all-time series 41-38. In the last series, then-senior and current assistant coach Gabbi Jenkins broke the program’s career bases stolen record with her 91st stolen base at Bittinger Field in West Lafayette, Indiana.
In the offseason, Indiana landed Purdue sophomore second baseman and right fielder Cora Bassett from the transfer portal. Since joining Indiana, Bassett has posted a .438 batting average, .526 on-base percentage, .883 slugging percentage, 13 home runs and 33 runs batted in during her 128 at-bats while starting all 40 games this season.
“I was super excited for Cora to be here,” sophomore shortstop Brooke Benson said on April 11 after sweeping Rutgers. “Our middle infield is super strong and everyone in the infield is having a great time.”
Since then, Stanton moved Bassett to right field to put senior Juvia Davis at second base throughout the Northwestern series.
“She’s one heck of an athlete and we will play her anywhere,” Stanton said of Bassett. “I like what she’s doing on the offensive side and continues to fight, regardless of circumstance.”
Currently 23-17, Indiana is on a five-game losing streak and has struggled to find consistency during recent series against No. 25-ranked University of Notre Dame, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and No. 10 Northwestern. These issues have dropped the Hoosiers to 6-9 in Big Ten play and ninth in the conference.
Indiana will play its first game at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The second game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start time. Both games will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network.