Hawkeyes Host Big Ten Action

April 5, 2005

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IOWA CITY – Hawkeyes Head Home
The University of Iowa softball team will host Purdue and Indiana this weekend in Big Ten action. The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers will face off at 6 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday. Iowa will face the Hoosiers in a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Sunday.

Before hosting Big Ten softball, the Hawkeyes will travel to DeKalb, IL, on Wednesday to face the Northern Illinois Huskies. Game time is set for 4 p.m.

Upset In Ann Arbor
The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten action last weekend with an upset victory over the top ranked Michigan Wolverines. Iowa spoiled Michigan’s home opener and snapped its 32-game winning streak, which was the longest in the nation and in Michigan school history.

Iowa scored all five of its runs in the second inning. Sami Baugh led off the inning with a double and advanced to third after a Kylie Murray single. Abby Ruff then doubled down the left field line, scoring Baugh and Jenna Spratt, who pinch ran for Murray. Mindy Heidgerken singled and Ruff scored on a throwing error. After Heidgerken scored on a wild pitch, Summer Downs hit a solo home run for the final run of the inning. The Hawkeyes handed Michigan pitcher Lorilyn Wilson her first loss of the season. Prior to the game against Iowa, Wilson had allowed only two earned runs in 63 innings of work.

Michigan Escapes With Win
Michigan used a two-run home run by Nicole Motycka to defeat the Hawkeyes, 3-1 on Saturday.

Michigan scored in the top of the first, but Iowa responded with a solo home run by Kylie Murray to tie the game. Motycka’s home run came in the third inning.

Wildcats Sweep Hawkeyes
Northwestern collected two wins against the Hawkeyes on Sunday in Evanston. Iowa fell in game one, 11-1 and 2-0 in game two. The Wildcats collected a combined 18 hits to Iowa’s five.

Scouting Northern Illinois
The Northern Illinois Huskies are 16-11 overall and 3-2 in the MAC.

Ellen Stoddard leads the Huskie offense. She is batting .364 with four doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.

Lindsey LaChiana is 10-6 with a 1.92 ERA inside the circle. She has 88 strikeouts and 32 walks.

Iowa holds an 18-16 advantage in the all-time series.

Scouting Purdue
The Purdue Boilermakers are 23-12 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten Conference.

Andrea Hillsey leads the Boilermaker offense. She is batting .411 with nine doubles, one triple, six home runs and 18 RBI.

Diana LaRiva is 7-2 with a 1.82 ERA inside the circle and leads the team with 97 strikeouts.

Iowa holds a 27-3 advantage in the all-time series.

Scouting Indiana
The Indiana Hoosiers are 10-24 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten Conference.

Tory Yamaguchi leads the Hoosier offense. She is batting .308 with four doubles, one triple, six home runs and 17 RBI.

Megan Roark is 8-13 with a 2.62 ERA inside the circle for the Hoosiers. She leads the team with 172 strikeouts. Roark also leads the Big Ten in strikeouts.

Hawkeyes in the Rankings
Iowa is ranked 19th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Softball poll and 24th in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. Other Big Ten teams in the rankings include Michigan (1st/1st) and Northwestern (23rd/20th). Penn State is listed as receiving votes. Rankings used are from the previous week. Updated rankings are released every Wednesday.

Birocci Moves Up
Lisa Birocci recorded 17 strikeouts last weekend, which moved her into second place on the career strikeout list. Birocci now has 811 career strikeouts and passed Karen Jackson to move into second place. Jackson collected 809 strikeouts from 1991-94. Birocci needs just five more strikeouts to pass Kristi Hanks to become Iowa’s all-time career strikeout leader.

Nichols Sets School Record
Freshman Emily Nichols entered the record books against Ball State, blasting her 11th home run which broke the single-season record. Nichols added another home run against South Dakota State. She leads the team in seven different offensive categories.

Chasing the Record Book
As a team, the Hawkeyes have hit 40 home runs this season. The school record for team home runs in a season is 41, set by the 2003 squad.

Gerlick Undergoes Surgery
Junior outfielder Emily Gerlick underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ACL on March 15. Gerlick suffered the ACL tear during Iowa’s opening weekend at the Stetson Invitational on February 13.

Venturella Promoted
Michelle Venturella enters the 2005 season as Iowa’s first ever associate head coach. Head Coach Gayle Blevins announced the promotion last July.

Venturella serves as the Hawkeye recruiting coordinator and hitting coach along with coaching the Iowa catchers.

As a member of the USA softball team she garnered four medals, one of which was the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Bilbao Returns to Iowa
Former all-American Debbie Bilbao has been hired as Iowa’s new assistant coach. Bilbao was head coach at Utah State from 2002-04 before making the move back to Iowa.

As a player, Bilbao helped guide the Hawkeyes to three straight College World Series appearances (1995-97) and still holds three school records. Bilbao will be Iowa’s pitching coach