The Purdue University Calumet softball team will begin its second season as a program on Friday, as the Peregrines look to build upon a 28-8 record in their inaugural season in 2014.
The Peregrines (0-0) will take on Benedictine-Springfield (0-4) in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. at the Sparta Dome in Crown Point, Ind., located 1355 East North Street.
2014 SEASON RECAP
Purdue University Calumet finished its inaugural season of softball as a team to be reckoned with, as the Peregrines went 28-8 overall. Competing as an independent member in their first season, the Peregrines went 14-5 against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents. The Black and Gold weren't only successful, but were able to defeat several quality opponents, including No. 9 St. Xavier (1-0) and No. 25 Indiana Southeast (19-2). The Peregrines fell by a combined four runs to No. 9 Olivet Nazarene, the CCAC conference champion, and No. 20 William Woods.
Under first-year Head Coach Heather Tarter's leadership, Purdue Calumet ranked nationally in several categories, as the Peregrines stood in the Top 25 in NAIA Division II in five offensive categories, including runs per game (third, 7.75); RBI per game (third, 6.89); doubles per game (ninth, 1.89); slugging percentage (19th, .510); and batting average (23rd, .336). Behind a powerful attack, Purdue Calumet finished the year with 27 home runs, 248 RBI, 331 hits and 279 runs scored.
Even more, Purdue Calumet shocked its big brother counterpart, as the Peregrines stunned NCAA Division I Purdue University 2-1 in their inaugural fall scrimmage in September of 2013.
Returning from the 2014 squad is senior infielder Skyler Woods (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) led the team with a .464 batting average, a .624 slugging percentage, a .496 on base percentage and 58 total hits. Senior first-baseman Ashley Adams (Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic) led the team with 42 RBI and added a .350 batting average with 41 hits, 12 doubles, five triples and two home runs, and leadoff outfielder Alicia Ward (Mishawaka, Ind./Jimtown) hit .364 with a team-best 46 runs in addition to 43 hits, 12 doubles, three triples and three home runs.
The Peregrines have 13 returning letter winners from a season ago, including six starters. On the mound, Purdue Calumet returns its two starting pitchers, senior Alison Kimble (Greenup, Ill./Cumberland) -- who went 15-4 in 112 innings with 94 strikeouts and a 2.69 ERA -- and junior Shelbie Jones (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka), who finished 13-4 with 67 strikeouts and a 3.05 ERA.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
The Benedictine University at Springfield Bulldogs are 0-4 so far this season after going 27-27 a season ago. The Bulldogs return senior Sarah Worster who had a .319 batting average and 25 RBI in 2014.
Purdue Calumet holds a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with BU-Springfield, as the Peregrines defeated the Bulldogs 15-3 in a five-inning game Feb. 23, 2014 at the St. Ambrose Invite. Alison Kimble pitched all five innings giving up three earned runs, two walks six strikeouts in the win. Ashley Adams went 2-3 in the game with a triple and four RBI and Alicia Ward scored three runs in the game.
Live stats for Friday's games will be available at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/puc/