Spring Break In California

March 7, 2006

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IOWA CITY – California Here We Come
The University of Iowa softball team (8-7) heads to California for a week-long spring break trip. First up is the National Invitational Softball Tournament (NIST) in San Jose. The Hawkeyes start tournament play Friday against North Dakota State at 3 p.m. and San Jose State at 9 p.m. Bracket play begins Saturday and continues through Sunday. Both times listed are central.

Hawkeyes Take Two of Three In Coach B Classic
Iowa won two of its three games at the Coach B Classic last weekend, hosted by Southern Illinois. The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Illinois (2-1) and Illinois-Chicago (4-3), but fell to Southern Illinois (2-1).

Arnold Dominates Huskies
Senior pitcher Ali Arnold struck out a season-high 11 batters and allowed only two hits in a complete game shutout against Northern Illinois. Arnold gave up only two walks in her first shutout of the season.

Sophomore Summer Downs sparked the Hawkeye offense with a solo home run in the sixth inning to give Iowa a 2-0 lead.

Tough One Aginst Southern Illinois
Despite gaining an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Hawkeyes were defeated by Southern Illinois, 2-1. Senior Kylie Murray hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore Emily Nichols for the first run of the contest, but a home run and RBI double by SIU’s Katie Louis sealed the win for the Salukis.

Iowa Tops UIC
Iowa used solid pitching from Ali Arnold and a strong offensive performance to down Illinois-Chicago, 4-3 last Sunday. Arnold threw six and two-thirds innings and allowed no earned runs while striking out four. All three of UIC’s late-inning runs were unearned.

Nichols and Downs led the Hawkeye offense, each collecting two hits and two RBI. Nichols also scored two runs, including a a solo home run.

Blame It On The Rain
For the second time this season, Iowa was unable to compete in the championship game of a tournament. Iowa could not compete in the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic championship game due to travel plans and rain washed out the Coach B Classic championship contest last weekend.

Nichols Has Solid Weekend
Sophomore Emily Nichols is starting to show signs of another solid season for the Hawkeyes. Last weekend at the Coach B Classic, Nichols batted .500 (5-10) with a home run, RBI and three runs scored. The Portland, OR, native recorded a.800 slugging percentage with a .545 on base percentage.

Nichols, who currently has 17 career home runs, is only 12 homers shy of the career home run total held by Alicia Gerlach.

Arnold Improving
Senior pitcher Ali Arnold threw 13.2 innings and allowed no earned runs at the Coach B Classic last weekend. Arnold went 2-0 with 15 strikeouts and allowed nine hits, holding her opponents to a .176 batting average.

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 507 career K’s.

Movin’ On Over
Sophomore Emily Nichols started two games at third base last weekend after playing the majority of the season at either first base or catcher.

Nichols started all 64 games for Iowa last season and played 27 games at first, 25 at catcher, five at third base, three at second base, one in the outfield, and six as the designated player.

Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents, 286-114 so far this season.

Additionally, Iowa has outscored its opponents, 43-19 in the first inning and 42-8 in the fourth inning. Iowa’s highest scoring inning so far has been the fifth, with 58 runs scored in the frame.

Freshmen Making a Difference
Hawkeye freshmen have recorded 16 hits and scored 19 runs so far this season.

Erin Riemersma has started all 15 games at second base while Brittany Weil has started six games in the circle. Colleen McGlaughlin has started eight games and appeared in 11 while Quinn Morelock has made seven starts and 12 appearances. Rachel West and Callie Adreon have appeared as pinch runners while 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.

Iowa vs. Michigan on TV
Iowa’s softball contest vs. Michigan on April 15 at Pearl Field will be broadcast to a national cable audience on College Sports Television (CSTV). The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start. In addition, the telecast can also be seen statewide on Mediacom’s Connections Channel.

This is the first time in school history that a regular season home game has been televised.

Early Honors
Senior Stacy May and freshman Brittany Weil were both named to the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic all-Tournament team.

May batted .462 (6-13) with three doubles during the opening tournment while Weil went 4-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 18 K’s in her first action as a Hawkeye.