Feb. 21, 2006
IOWA CITY – Tough Test In Georgia
The University of Iowa softball team heads to Columbus, GA, to compete in the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The NFCA Leadoff Classic is one of the premier tournaments in the country, with 11 of the 24 teams ranked in the top 25, including three teams that advanced to the College World Series last season.
The Hawkeyes open the Leadoff Classic Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Louisiana-Lafayette. Iowa then faces Tennessee at 4 p.m. The Volunteers are one of the three teams that participated in the College World Series in 2005. Iowa closes group play Saturday at 11:30 a.m. against Florida State. Bracket play begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and continues through Sunday. All times listed are central.
Fans can access livestats (Gametracker) via www.hawkeyesports.com.
Last Weekend’s Action
The Hawkeyes recorded a 2-3 record at the Littlewood Classic, hosted by Arizona State University. Iowa defeated Illinois State twice (9-3, 10-2) but dropped three close games to the Sun Devils (4-5, 7-10, 1-8).
Bats Hot Against Illinois State
The Hawkeyes scored a combined 19 runs and belted five home runs in two games against Illinois State. Junior Mindy Heidgerken, freshman Quinn Morelock and senior Kylie Murray each hit one home run, while freshman Erin Riemersma hit two.
No Luck Against ASU
Iowa battled against Arizona State, but couldn’t catch a break against the Sun Devils. A three-run home run was the difference in the first match-up and a thrilling nine inning game saw the Hawkeyes coming up just short in the Saturday rematch. Iowa battled back from a 4-0 deficit to send the game to extra innings and rallied from a three-run deficit in extra innings to force a ninth inning.
Hawkeyes In The Rankings
Iowa is ranked 22nd in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is updated every Wednesday.
Robbed Not Once, But Twice
Senior Stacy May had two home runs robbed against Arizona State last weekend. In the first meeting, May blasted a ball to deep left field, but the ASU left fielder reached over the fence and brought the ball back in play for the out.
In the Saturday rematch, May belted another fly ball to straight-away center field but once again an ASU outfielder climbed the fence to steal another home run away.
Hot Start For Riemersma
Freshman Erin Riemersma went a combined 8-17 (.471) with two home runs and four RBI at the Littlewood Classic last weekend. Riemersma collected multiple hits in three of the five games, including a two-home run performance against Illinois State on Saturday. She also recorded two of Iowa’s four hits in Iowa’s final matchup against Arizona State. The Orland Park, IL native is currently second on the team with a .346 batting average is tied for the team lead in home runs.
First Win of the Season
Senior Ali Arnold picked up her first win of the season against Illinois State on Saturday. Arnold threw all five innings and allowed four hits while striking out five.
Heidgerken Likes Leadoff
Junior Mindy Heidgerken has adjusted pretty well to hitting in the leadoff spot. Heidgerken is batting .323 (10-31) with 10 hits, one home run, one triple and a team best eight RBI. Heidgerken was a unanimous first team all-Big Ten selection in 2005.
Freshman Making a Difference
Hawkeye freshmen have recorded 14 hits and scored 15 runs so far this season.
Erin Riemersma has started all 10 games at second base while Brittany Weil has started four games in the circle. Both Quinn Morelock and Colleen McGlaughlin have started five games while Rachel West and Callie Adreon have appeared as pinch runners. Lindsey Emery has one plate appearance as a pinch hitter.
May Selected in NPL Draft
Shortstop Stacy May was drafted by the Comcast Chicago Bandits, a member of the National Professional Fastpitch League (NPF). May was selected with the fourth pick in the second round. She was the Bandits’ first pick overall.
May has started every game in her career so far at Iowa and is a two-time all-Big Ten selection. She was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2003. She joins current Akron Racer Kristin Johnson as the second Hawkeye to be a member of the NPF.
Arnold Moving Up
Senior Ali Arnold passed former Hawkeye player and assistant coach Debbie Bilbao for fifth on the career strikeout list last weekend at the Littlewood Classic. Arnold now has 487 career K’s.
Tough Schedule in `06
The Hawkeyes are scheduled to face seven opponents that appear in both polls. Iowa defeated Georgia at the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic and faced Arizona State three times at the Littlewooed Classic, hosted by the Sun Devils. The Hawkeyes will see two ranked opponents at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Tennessee, who advanced to the College World Series last season, and Louisiana-Lafayette. Iowa is scheduled to play California at the National Invitational Softball Tournament (NIST).
Along with Iowa, the Big Ten features three schools ranked in the top 25. Michigan is the top-ranked team in both polls along with Northwestern.
Scott Named Pitching Coach
Amanda Scott has been hired as Iowa’s new pitching coach. Scott began her coaching career at Michigan State where she served as pitching coach from 2002-04. She then pitched professionally for the New York Juggernauts and led them to a National Pro Fastpitch championship in 2004 while earning league M.V.P. honors. Scott served as the Juggernauts pitching coach during the 2005 season.
Scott was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1997-00 and earned a gold medal at the 1998 World Championships. She was also an alternate on the 2000 Olympic Team.
Scott played at Fresno State and graduated as one of the school’s most decorated athletes. She was named Fresno State’s No. 2 greatest athlete of the 20th century and led the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Championship in 1998. Scott also received the NCAA Top VIII Award in 2001, which singles out eight NCAA student-athletes who demonstrate athletic success, academic achievement and community service.