Hawkeyes To Host Wiliam Penn

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April 12, 2005

The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team (32-9, 5-5) hosts the William Penn Statesmen (23-11, 5-5) on Wednesday at Pearl Field. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students and free for UI students.

Hawkeyes Defeat Northern Illinois
The Hawkeyes used two home runs from freshman Emily Nichols to blow past the Northern Illinois Huskies last Wednesday, 8-2.

Iowa overcame an early 2-0 deficit in the second inning when Jenna Spratt stole home and Kylie Murray hit a two-run double. The Hawkeyes added three runs in the fifth inning when Nichols blasted a three-run homer. Iowa rounded out the scoring in the sixth. Mindy Heidgerken started the inning with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball. Another passed ball allowed Heidgerken to score and Nichols followed with another home run, this time a solo shot.

Seven Hawkeyes collected at least one hit against the Huskies. Nichols and Murray each went 3-4 while Spratt, Heidgerken and Natalie Johnson each stole a base.

Ali Arnold picked up her 11th win of the season, while Lisa Birocci recorded her fourth save.

Iowa Tops Purdue
The Hawkeyes scored three runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers, 3-2 last Friday. Iowa picked up its 30th win of the season and Lisa Birocci threw her 19th complete game.

After Purdue took the lead, 1-0 in the second inning, the Hawkeyes plated three runs off doubles from Summer Downs and Stacy May. Downs knocked in Mindy Heidgerken and Natalie Johnson while May scored Downs.

Purdue Upsets Hawkeyes
Three costly errors by Iowa allowed Purdue to leave Iowa City with series slpit after knocking off the 19th ranked Hawkeyes, 2-1.

Kylie Murray blasted an RBI double in the first to give Iowa an early lead. Purdue tied the game in the fourth after an error allowed Tricia Lilley to reach base and DaQueta Johnson doubled her home. Purdue scored the go-ahead run in the sixth after two Iowa errors loaded the bases for the Boilermakers. Erika Peterson singled down the third base line to score Andrea Hillsey to take the lead.

Ali Arnold suffered the loss, even though she did not give up an earned run. She threw five innings and allowed only three hits and struck out four.

Hawkeyes Sweep Indiana
The Hawkeyes improved their conference record to 4-4 with two wins over the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday. Iowa won game one, 5-0 and game two, 3-0.

Lisa Birocci and Ali Arnold both threw complete game shutouts and struck out a combined 21 batters in 14 innings of work. The duo allowed only three hits and walked only one batter.

Birocci threw a one-hitter and struck out 10 in game one. Arnold struck out 11 in game two.

Scouting William Penn
The William Penn Statesmen are 23-11 overall and 5-5 in the Midwest Classic Conference.

Staci Patch leads the Statesmen offense. She is batting .483 with one double and seven RBI.

Patricia Sheridan is 8-1 with a 0.88 ERA inside the circle. Steph Christner is 9-6 with a 2.00 ERA and has a team high 130 strikeouts.

The all-time series record is tied at 5-5.

Last Meeting
The Hawkeyes defeated William Penn, 10-0 in five innings on “Senior Night” last season at Pearl Field.

Sarah Thomson celebrated her senior day in style, going 2-3 with four RBI and a home run. Mindy Heidgerken and Natalie Johnson each collected doubles.

Lisa Birocci and Ali Arnold combined to throw a five inning no-hitter. Birocci picked up the win and struck out eight of the 13 batters she faced.

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 Becomes Strikeout Leader
With seven strikeouts against Northern Illinois, Lisa Birocci became Iowa’s all-time career strikeout leader. Birocci struck out seven of the 10 batters she faced in three innings of relief work to pass former Hawkeye all-American Kristi Hanks. Birocci’s career total stands at 839.

Birocci Earns Big Ten Honor
For the third time this season, Lisa Birocci has been named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week.

Birocci became Iowa’s all-time career strikeout leader against Nothern Illinois, fanning seven of the 10 batters she faced to move into the number one spot.

Birocci finished the week with a 2-0 record, striking out 28 batters and gave up only two earned runs.

Team Sets Home Run Record
Freshman Emily Nichols blasted two home runs against Nothern Illinois, increasing the team total to 42 homers on the season, which shattered the school record for team home runs in a season. The previous school record was 41 home runs, set by the 2003 squad.

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 and has a season total of 14 homers.

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.