Hawkeyes Host Big Ten Foes

April 28, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team (41-9, 8-4) hosts the Wisconsin Badgers (22-20, 6-8) and the Minnesota Golden Gophers (25-21, 6-8) this weekend at Pearl Field.

Iowa will face off against Wisconsin at 6 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday. The Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers will play a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students and free for UI students and children five or younger.

Hawkeyes Dismantle Western Illinois
The Hawkeyes used three home runs and a brilliant pitching performance from junior Ali Arnold to defeat Western Illinois, 8-0 in five innings Tuesday.

The Hawkeye bats started off hot, collecting three runs in both the first and second innings. Stacy May led off the first inning with a walk and Downs follwed with a single to center. Kylie Murray then belted her fourth home run of the season to give Iowa an early, 3-0 lead.

Mindy Heidgerken led off the second inning with a single to left and stole second base. Jenna Spratt advanced Heidgerken to third with a sacrifice bunt, followed by an RBI single off the bat of May. Summer Downs followed with a towering two-run home run to center field and the Hawkeyes led, 6-0.

Baugh kept the offense rolling in the third, leading the inning off with a solo home run to straight away center field. Brandi Sargent singled and Heidgerken followed with an RBI single.

Arnold (17-2) threw a gem for the Hawkeyes, allowing no runs on two hits and struck out 13 of the 18 batters she faced.

Scouting Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Badgers are 22-20 overall and 6-8 in the Big Ten Confernce.

Kris Zacher leads the Badger offense. She is batting .404 with three doubles, four triples, five home runs and 11 RBI. Boo Gillette leads the team with 30 RBI.

Eden Brock is 14-8 with a 2.43 ERA inside the circle this season. She leads the team with 95 strikeouts.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 19-3.

Last Meeting
The Hawkeyes swept Wisconsin in a doubleheader last season. Iowa won the first game, 1-0 and took game two, 5-0.

Lisa Birocci broke the single season strikeout record in game one, recording nine strikeouts to increase her season total to 267. Iowa capitalized on three Wisconsin errors to take game one.

Stacy May, Kylie Murray and Ali Arnold all recorded an RBI in the first to take an early lead. Arnold picked up the win, throwing seven shutout innings and striking out four.

Scouting Minnesota
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 25-21 overall and 6-8 in the Big Ten Confernce.

Megan Higginbotham leads the Golden Gopher offense. She is batting .389 with nine doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI.

Lyn Peyer is 16-12 with a 2.34 ERA inside the circle this season. She has 143 strikeouts in 182.2 innings pitched.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 43-36.

Last Meeting
Iowa defeated Minnesota, 6-2 in Minneapolis last season.

A day after getting no-hit by the Golden Gopher pitching staff, the Hawkeyes pounded out eight hits, including doubles from Natalie Johnson and Laura Chipman. Johnson was 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Hawkeyes In The Rankings
Iowa is ranked 19th in the ESPN. com/USA Softball Collegiate Softball poll and 21st in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. Other Big Ten team in the rankings include Michigan (1st/1st) and Northwestern (15th/15th).

Staying In IC
Iowa wraps up the season with a 10-game home stand. The Hawkeyes are 12-1 at Pearl Field this season.

Reaching 40 Wins
The Hawkeyes have eclipsed the 40-win mark for the 11th time in the program’s history, all of which have come under head coach Gayle Blevins.

Iowa has qualified for the NCAA tournament eight of the previous 10 seasons they have won over 40 games.

Iowa won over 40 games in both the 1990 and 1999 seasons, but were not selected for the NCAA tournament.

We’re Goin’ Streaking
The Hawkeyes have won 11-straight games which is their longest winning streak this season. Iowa rode an eightgame winning streak before a 7-2 defeat by No. 2 California earlier this season.

Movin’ On Up
Junior pitcher Ali Arnold is currently sixth on the all-time career strikeout list. She has 429 K’s in her career and has passed Diane Roorda, who recorded 389 strikeouts in her four-year career. Next on the list is current pitching coach Debbie Bilbao, who sits in fifth place with 476 K’s.

Ducks On The Pond
Senior Lisa Birocci is batting .417 (10-24) with runners in scoring position, while junior Stacy May is batting .405 (17-42). May is second on the team with 30 RBI.

Hot With Runners On
When runners are on base, the Hawkeyes would like to have junior Kylie Murray digging in the batters box. She is hitting .429 (27-63) with runners on base.

In addition, she is batting .733 (11-15) with runners on second and third and less than two outs.

Heidgerken Coming On Strong
Sophomore Mindy Heidgerken is batting .476 (10-21) in conference play. She has two doubles and scored seven runs while recording a slugging percentage of .810 in 12 conference games.

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.

You Can But It On The Board
Freshman Emily Nichols blasted two home runs against Northern 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. The Hawkeyes currently have 51 home runs this season.

Nichols Sets School Record
Freshman Emily Nichols entered the record books against Ball State on March 26, blasting her 11th home run which broke the single-season record. She leads the team in seven different offensive categories and has a season total of 16 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. She will be out for the season.