Hawkeyes Head To Big Ten Tournament

May 10, 2005

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IOWA CITY – The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team (46-11, 12-6) travels to Ann Arbor, MI, to compete in the 2005 Big Ten Softball Tournament. Iowa is the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Penn State in opening round play Friday at 12 p.m. (ET). Below is a schedule of the Big Ten Tournament.

Thursday, May 12
Game 1 – #2 Northwestern vs. #7 Purdue, 5 p.m.
Game 2 – #1 Michigan vs. #8 Michigan State, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 13
Game 3 – #3 IOWA vs. #6 Penn State, 12 p.m.
Game 4 – #4 Ohio State vs. #5 Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3, 5 p.m.
Game 6 – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 14
Championship Game – 12 p.m. (Live on CSTV)

On The Air and Web
AM 800 KXIC will broadcast Iowa’s first round game against Penn State live at 11 a.m. (CT). Should Iowa advance to the championship game, KXIC will also do a live broadcast at 11 a.m. (CT).

Fans can follow live stats (gametracker) for all Hawkeye games at www.hawkeyesports.com. Live stats for each Big Ten Tournament game can be found at www.mgoble.com.

Hawkeyes In The Rankings
Iowa is ranked 18th 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).

Hawkeyes In the Big Ten Tourney
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a 17-17 all-time record in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Hawkeyes have won two Big Ten Tournament titles, claiming the 2000 and 2003 titles. The 2003 tournament was held in Iowa City.

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.

That’s Why She Bats Leadoff
Junior Stacy May has reached base safely in the first inning 11 of her last 102 at bats, including the last nine.

Since moving to the leadoff spot April 10th against Indiana, May is batting .588 (10-17) in her first at bat of the game.

Getting Hot At The Right Time
In her last seven games, junior Kylie Murray is batting .522 (12-23) with one double, one home run and 10 RBI. She has also scored three runs and has a slugging percentage of .696 and an on base percentage of .542.

Ducks On The Pond
When runners are on base, the Hawkeyes would like to have junior Kylie Murray digging in the batters box. She is batting .443 (35-79) with runners on base.

In addition, Murray is batting .462 (24-52) with runners in scoring position and .778 (14-18) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

Heidgerken In Conference Play
Sophomore Mindy Heidgerken led the team with a .421 batting average in conference play. She also led the team in slugging percentage (.684), on base percentage (.421) and stolen bases (7).

Birocci One Of The Best
Senior Lisa Birocci led the Big Ten in total wins (26), saves (7) innings pitched (226.2) and batters struck out looking (84). She ranked third in total strikeouts with 238 on the season.

Movin’ On Up
Junior pitcher Ali Arnold is currently sixth on the all-time career strikeout list. She has 456 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.

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 896.

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.

You Can Put 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 57 home runs this season.

Scouting No. 1 Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines enter the Big Ten Tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Wolverines boast a 52-4 record overall and a 15-2 Big Ten mark.

Tiffany Haas is the leading hitter at .393 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBI. Both Jessica Merchant and Samantha Findlay have belted 17 home runs.

Both Lorilyn Wilson and Jennie Ritter have sub-one ERA’s. Wilson is 21-2 with a 0.88 ERA while Ritter is 26-1 with a 0.93 ERA.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 50-42-1.

Scouting No. 2 Northwestern
The second-seeded Northwestern Wildcats are 37-14 overall and finished the Big Ten season at 15-3.

Cooper Garland leads the potent Wildcat offense. She is batting .466 with 15 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 45 RBI. Stephanie Churchwell is another heavy bat in the lineup, batting .404 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 35 RBI.

Courtnay Foster leads the team inside the circle with an 18-6 record. Foster has a 1.24 ERA and has a team-high 219 strikeouts. Eileen Canney is 18-7 with a 1.50 ERA and has 153 strikeouts.

Iowa trails the all-time series, 40-41.

Scouting No. 4 Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the No. 4 seed with a 32-16 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the conference.

Ashley Cutliff leads the Buckeye offense, batting .409 with five home runs and 18 RBI.

Jamee Juarez is 25-11 in the circle and paces the team with a 1.96 ERA and 187 strikeouts.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 54-29.

Scouting No. 5 Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Badgers are seeded fifth with a 30-21 overall record and an 11-9 record in the Big Ten.

Kris Zacher is batting .400 with five triples, nine home runs and 20 RBI for the Badgers. Anastasia Miller leads the team with 11 home runs and 36 RBI.

Eden Brock is 19-8 with a 2.55 ERA and leads the team with 125 strikeouts.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 20-4.

Scouting No. 6 Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions are the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament and have an overall record of 34-20 and a Big Ten mark of 10-9.

Ashley Esparaza paces the Nittany Lion offense. She is batting .406 with 14 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI.

Missy Beseres is 15-11 with a 1.47 ERA inisde the circle this season. She leads the team with 239 strikeouts. Esparaza is 12-5 with a 1.74 ERA.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 32-10.

Last Meeting
The Hawkeyes swept a doubleheader in University Park, PA this season. Iowa won the first game, 3-1 and game two, 5-1.

In game one, Lisa Birocci blasted her fifth home run of the season to help Iowa earn the win. Birocci went 2-3 with three RBI while picking up the victory inside the circle.

Seven Hawkeyes collected a hit in game two. Nichols went 1-3 with two RBI. Ali Arnold threw a complete game and allowed one run on four hits and struck out 11 batters.

Scouting No. 7 Purdue
The seventh-seeded Purdue Boilermakers are 34-22-1 overall and finished with a 10-10 record in the Big Ten.

Andrea Hillsey paces the Boilermaker offense, batting .370 with 15 doubles and 31 RBI.

Diana LaRiva is 12-6 with a 2.16 ERA and leads the Boilermakers with 147 strikeouts. Brooke Baker is 15-14 with a 2.51 ERA.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 28-4.

Scouting No. 8 Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans enter the Big Ten Tournament as the eighth seed and are 25-27-1 overall and 7-9 in the Big Ten.

Victoria Morache is batting .322 with 10 doubles and 12 RBI. Traci Nicosia leads the team with 23 RBI.

Rachel Turney is 14-15 with a 1.88 ERA for the Spartans. She leads the team with 160 strikeouts.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 58-26.