March 8, 2005
IOWA CITY – Freshman Emily Nichols and senior Lisa Birocci were both honored by the Big Ten Conference for their performances last weekend at the Buzz Classic. Nichols was named Big Ten Player of the Week while Birocci was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week.
Nichols had a breakout weekend at the Buzz Classic to earn her first Player of the Week honor. She went a combined 10-22 (.455) with seven home runs and 15 RBI in eight games. The Portland, OR native also had a tournament slugging percentage of 1.455. She hit two two-run homers against Georgia Southern and provided the game-winning RBI with another two-run blast against Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals. Nichols set two school records against Auburn in the semifinals, recording three home runs and eight RBI in the 16-1 victory. She closed the tournament by hitting yet another home run against Ohio State in the championship game. She was also named the Buzz Classic’s Most Valuable Player.
Birocci threw her second career no-hitter against Georgia Southern and recorded a school record 17 strikeouts to earn the award for the second time in her career. The Des Moines, IA native went a combined 4-1 for the weekend and finished the Buzz Classic with a tournament leading 33 strikeouts. Birocci also had a 0.46 ERA in the tournament. She led the tournament in innings pitched (30.1), appearances (6) and games started (5). Birocci was named to the Buzz Classic all-Tournament team.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Friday at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, CA.