Iowa To Face Nebraska In NCAA Regionals

May 17, 2005

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IOWA CITY – The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team travels to Lincoln, NE, to compete in the double elimination NCAA Regional Tournament. The Hawkeyes will face host school Nebraska at 4 p.m. Friday. Below is a schedule of the NCAA Regional in Lincoln.

Fans can listen to Friday’s game live on 800-AM KXIC. If the Hawkeyes play in game 3 on Saturday, the game will also be broadcast. Live updates will be given on KXIC throughout the weekend. Fans can also access live stats of all Iowa games via Live stats for all games can be found at

Friday, May 20
Game 1 – Nebraska vs. IOWA, 4 p.m.
Game 2 – Creighton vs. Washington, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 21
Game 3 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 4 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 22
Game 6 – Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7 – Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6, 3:30 p.m. (if necessary)

New Tournament Format
2005 will be the first year the NCAA Regional Tournament will use its new format. Sixteen sites were chosen as host schools with four teams in each site. The winner of each regional will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals, held May 27-28 at campus sites to be determined. Eight Super Regional winners will then advance to the Women’s College World Series, held June 2-8 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK.

Hawkeyes In The Rankings
Iowa is ranked 19th in the ESPN. com/USA Softball Collegiate Softball poll and 22nd in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll.

Iowa In NCAA Regionals
The Hawkeyes hold a 22-17 all-time record in NCAA Regional play. They have advanced to the Women’s College World Series four times (1995-97, 2001).

Hawkeyes Familiar With Lincoln
Iowa has traveled to Lincoln for NCAA Regional play four times, including the previous three years. The Hawkeyes hold a 5-6 record at NCAA Regionals when playing in Lincoln.

Iowa Against Teams in Lincoln
The Hawkeyes are 7-9 all-time vs. Nebraska, 6-20 vs. Creighton and 1-6 vs. Washington.

In addition, Iowa has faced each school in NCAA Regional play a number of times. Iowa is 0-2 vs. Creighton in regional play, including an 8-4, 10-inning loss in Lincoln last season. The Hawkeyes are 1-2 vs. Nebraska and 0-2 vs. Washington. Iowa’s two losses against Washington came in Lincoln at the 2003 NCAA Regional. Washington defeated the Hawkeyes 11-0 both games, including the regional final.

Tough Schedule Pays Off
Iowa posted an 11-11 record against teams that were selected for the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes are 3-0 against Penn State, 2-0 against Virginia Tech, 1-0 against Louisville and Arizona State, 1-1 against Wisconsin and Auburn, 1-2 against Michigan and Northwestern and 0-1 against Oregon State, Missouri and California.

Big Ten Honors
Four Hawkeyes were selected to all-Big Ten teams this season. Sophomore Mindy Heidgerken was named unanimous first team all-Big Ten, senior Lisa Birocci and junior Kylie Murray earned second team accolades, while junior Ali Arnold was a third team selection.

Solid In The Classroom
Junior Stacy May was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America District 7 softball team.

May, who boasts a 3.39 grade point average and is majoring in accounting and physics, is one of only three Hawkeyes to start all 60 games this season.

Runner-Up At Big Ten Tournament
The Hawkeyes finished second at the Big Ten Tournament last weekend in Ann Arbor, MI, posting a 2-1 record.

Birocci Handles Nittany Lions
Lisa Birocci stole the show in game one of the Big Ten Tournament, throwing a complete game, one-hit shutout while striking out 12 batters. She also collected two of Iowa’s three hits, including the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.

May Day Against Northwestern
The Hawkeyes knocked off second- seeded Northwestern, 2-1 in eight innings to advance to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament. Stacy May was the hero of the semifinal game, going 2-4 and scored both of Iowa’s runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth.

Hawkeyes Fall In Championship
Michigan proved why they are the top-ranked team in the country against Iowa, pounding out seven runs on nine hits in the championship contest. Iowa’s only runs came off a two-run home run by Kylie Murray.

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.

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. Her seven saves is also third- best in the nation.

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

Since moving to the leadoff spot April 10th against Indiana, May is batting .412 (7-17) and has drawn four walks in her first at bat of the game.

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 .440 (37-84) with runners on base.

In addition, Murray is batting .463 (25-54) with runners in scoring position and .778 (14-18) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

Movin’ On Up
Junior pitcher Ali Arnold is currently sixth on the all-time career strikeout list. She has 458 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. Arnold is only two strikeouts away from 200 this season.

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 921.

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 60 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 has 16 home runs so far this season.

Scouting Washington
The Washington Huskies are 31-20 overall and finished 10-11 in the Pac-10 Conference.

Ashley Charters leads the Huskie offense. She is batting .382 with four doubles, one triple, one home run and 17 RBI. Kristen Rivera leads the team with 19 home runs and 51 RBI.

Caitlin Noble is 14-8 with a 2.00 ERA inside the circle and paces the team with 225 strikeouts. Ashley Boek is 17-12 with a 2.50 ERA.

Washington and Iowa have seven common opponents this season. The Huskies are 1-0 vs. Illinois, Ohio State and Penn State. Washington was defeated by Northwestern and hold 1-2 records vs. Oregon State and California. The Huskies were 3-0 vs. Arizona State.

Scouting Nebraska
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are 35-21 overall and finished 9-9 in the Big 12 Conference.

The Cornhusker offense is lead by Anne Steffan, who is batting .400 with five doubles and four RBI. Sheena Lawrick has driven in 46 runs for the Cornhuskers.

Ashley DeBuhr is 23-19 with a 1.80 ERA inside the circle and is two strikeouts shy of 300 for the season.

Nebraska and Iowa have four common opponents in 2005. The Cornhuskers are 3-0 vs. Iowa State, 1-0 vs. Oregon State, 1-2 vs. Missouri and 0-2 vs. Penn State.

Scouting Creighton
The Creighton Bluejays are 44-11 overall and finished with a 19-8 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Melanie Dorsey paces the Bluejay offense. She is batting .41 with two doubles and 11 RBI. Lauren Flores has 10 home runs and 38 RBI.

Tammy Nielsen is 28-6 with a 1.54 ERA and 303 strikeouts. Abby Johnson is 15-4 with a 1.55 ERA and has 116 strikeouts.

Creighton and Iowa have three common opponents this season. The Bluejays are 2-0 against South Dakota State, 2-1 against Drake and 0-1 against Michigan.