April 17, 2006
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IOWA CITY – The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team (28-16, 6-4) will play two mid-week games before returning to Big Ten action. The Hawkeyes travel to Des Moines to take on Drake (17-23) Tuesday at 5 p.m. Iowa will host Northern Illinois (15-18) Wednesday at 5 p.m. before traveling to Purdue (26-24, 4-7) and Indiana (20-20-1, 3-8). The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers will play single games Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m. Iowa and Indiana are scheduled for a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Sunday. All times listed are central.
On The Air
Iowa’s game against Drake on Wednesday will be broadcast live on AM-800 KXIC. Steven Grace will handle play-by-play commentary.
Hawkeyes on the Web
Fans who can’t make it to Pearl Field can access livestats (gametracker) via www.hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the gametracker link found on the front page or on the softball schedule page.
Gametracker will not be available for Wednesday’s game at Drake.
Iowa Splits the Weekend
The Hawkeyes split each series against No. 12 Michigan and Michigan State last weekend. Iowa fell to Michigan, 3-0, in game one but defeated the Wolverines, 1-0 in game two. The Hawkeyes came out on top against the Spartans in game one of a doubleheader, 4-1, but fell in game two, 8-4.
May-Day Against Michigan
Senior Stacy May hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to help Iowa upset 12th-ranked Michigan last Saturday. The home run was May’s fourth of the season.
With the wind blowing in from center field, May took the first pitch from relief hurler Jennie Ritter and blasted the home run over the left field fence.
Freshman Brittany Weil pitched a gem for the Hawkeyes, throwing a complete game one-hitter against the potent Wolverine offense. Michigan’s only hit came in the bottom of the second inning.
In the first game of the series, Michigan scored all three runs in the first inning off a wild pitch, a hit batsmen and an infield single. The Hawkeye offense only collected two hits.
Split With the Spartans
Iowa overcame nearly two hours of rain delays to split the Sunday doubleheader with Michigan State.
In game one, Iowa scored three runs in the second inning off RBI singles by senior Kylie Murray, junior Emily Gerlick and sophomore Stephanie Ackerson. Junior Sami Baugh recorded a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the final Hawkeye run.
Weil improved her record to 19-9 with her 21st complete game of the season.
In a back and forth game, Michigan State took advantage of a Hawkeye throwing error in the fifth and a three-run sixth inning for the split. May and sophomore Emily Nichols each finished 2-3 at the plate.
The Drake Bulldogs are 17-23 overall and 7-8 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Lindsey Larry leads the Drake offense with a .301 batting average. Jessica Hicks is 9-10 with a 3.21 ERA inside the circle.
The Bulldogs are coached by Rich Calvert. Iowa leads the all-time series, 28-5.
Scouting Northern Illinois
The Northern Illinois Huskies are 15-18 overall and 3-7 in Mid-American Conference action.
Bailey Ouellette is batting .313 to lead the Huskies at the plate. Taryn Hagemann is 6-9 with a 2.85 ERA for the Huskies in the circle.
Iowa was defeated by Northern Illinois, 2-1 earlier this season at the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, IL.
The Huskies are coached by Donna Martin. Iowa leads the all-time series, 18-17.
The Purdue Boilermakers are 26-24 overall and 4-7 in Big Ten play.
Ashley Hall leads the team with a .330 batting average. She is one of four Boilermakers with a batting average above .300.
Diana LaRiva and Brooke Baker have split time in the circle. LaRiva is 10-10 with a 2.53 ERA while Baker is 13-12 with a 2.72 ERA.
The Boilermakers are coached by Kim Maher. Iowa leads the all-time series, 28-4.
The Indiana Hoosiers are 20-20-1 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten action.
Lauren Hines is batting .417 with eight home runs and 23 RBI for the Hoosiers. Mariangee Bogado is batting at a .349 clip with five home runs.
Bogado also leads the Hoosiers in the circle with a 1.64 ERA. She is 13-8 with 220 strikeouts.
The Hoosiers are coached by Stacy Phillips. Iowa leads the all-time series, 50-27-1.
Nichols Feels Right at Home
Sophomore Emily Nichols must like the surroundings at Pearl Field. The Portland, OR, native is batting .444 with two home runs, six doubles and 11 RBI in games played at Pearl Field. She also has a .778 slugging percentage and a .500 on base percentage in home games.
Plenty of Connections
Head Coach Gayle Blevins will see a familiar face across the field at Drake. Bulldog Head Coach Rich Calvert served as an assistant under Blevins at Iowa from 1996-02.
Bulldog pitcher Kristin Birocci is the sister of former Hawkeye all-American pitcher Lisa Birocci. Kristin Birocci holds a 3-2 record with a 3.61 ERA.
Blevins will return to her coaching roots this weekend in Bloomington. Iowa’s head coach began her coaching career at Indiana and compiled a 301-146 record in eight seasons. She guided the Hoosiers to the College World Series three times and was recently inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame.
Call Her Clutch
Junior Mindy Heidgerken might be the person that the Hawkeyes want in the box with runners on base. She is batting .375 with runners in scoring position and .556 with a runner on third and less than two outs. Heidgerken is also batting .405 with two outs in the inning and .600 with the bases loaded.
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.
Making the Most of Her AB’s
Sophomore Summer Downs has tallied 16 RBI on 25 hits this season. The San Diego, CA, native is batting .253 with five doubles.