The first season at Purdue's brand new softball facility has been an up and down one. The Boilers started strong with a three game sweep of Wisconsin in the first three home games of the year. That moved Purdue to 22-9 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
Since then, things have not gone well. The bright spot was a no-hitter thrown by Lilly Fecho in the last home game of the year against Indiana State on April 29. That was one of only eight victories for Purdue since that 22-9 mark, as Purdue enters the Big Ten Tournament this week at Ohio State at 30-24 overall and a paltry 7-14 in Big Ten play.
That's not to say the Boilers haven't been competitive. An early season win over a ranked Texas A&M team was very nice. Purdue was 2-6 in games decided by one run in Big Ten play. They were right there in most games, including all three this past weekend where they lost all three 1-0, 3-2 (8 innings) and 4-2.
Purdue will be the 12 seed in the single elimination tournament as they seek to steal the automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. They will face No. 5seed Illinois, with whom they played a close series during the season. The Fighting Illini won the regular season series two games to one. Illinois won the first game 9-1 before the teams split the last two by identical 8-7 scores in 8 innings.
Should Purdue win at noon on Thursday they will advance to play Northwestern at noon on F riday. The Wildcats swept Purdue during the year, but all three games were close with 4-3, 2-1, and 5-1 score lines.
Michigan, ranked No. 5 in the nation and 48-6 overall (21-2 in the B1G) is the No. 1 seed and likely awaits in the semifinals. All games will be carried on Big Ten Network live.