April 24, 2006
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IOWA CITY – The Setting
The University of Iowa softball team (33-17, 9-5) will host intrastate rival Northern Iowa (12-33-1, 2-17) Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Pearl Field before returning to Big Ten action against Ohio State (32-17, 10-4) and Penn State (31-12, 6-8) this weekend. Iowa and Ohio State play single games Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 12 p.m. in a battle for third place in the Big Ten. Iowa will face Penn State in a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.
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.
Iowa Splits With Indiana
The Hawkeyes split a pair of games Sunday at Indiana. The Hoosiers won the first game, 12-4 in six innings, but the Hawkeyes claimed game two, 3-2.
In game one, Indiana jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning off a three-run home run. The Hoosiers plated three more runs in the third for a 6-0 advantage.
Iowa cut Indiana’s lead to 6-2 in the fourth off an RBI single by junior Sami Baugh that scored freshman Rachel West and an error by the Indiana left fielder allowed sophomore Summer Downs to score.
The Hoosiers put another three runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Iowa fought back in the fifth with four straight singles by senior Stacy May, junior Mindy Heidgerken, sophomore Emily Nichols and senior Kylie Murray for Iowa’s third run. Freshman Erin Riemersma grounded out to the Indiana third baseman, which allowed Heidgerken to score for a 9-4 Hoosier lead.
Indiana increased its lead to 11-4 in the bottom of the fifth and ended the contest with a solo home run in the sixth.
In game two, Indiana once again took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Hawkeyes responded with a two-RBI single by Downs for a 2-1 lead. Freshman Colleen McGlaughlin made the score 3-1 in the fourth with a lead-off, pinch-hit solo home run to left field.
Iowa Takes Two From Purdue
The Hawkeyes used four extra base hits in game one and a two-run home run from Kylie Murray in game two for a series sweep against the Boilermakers.
In game one, Erin Riemersma hit a two-out RBI triple to right field and Murray followed with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead. Summer Downs recorded an RBI infield single and Murray tallied her second RBI of the day in the third inning.
The Hawkeyes added two runs in the sixth off a single from Emily Gerlick and double by Mindy Heidgerken. Sami Baugh ripped an RBI single for the final run of the game.
In game two, Purdue took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Hawkeyes tied the contest off an RBI single by Baugh.
Murray broke the 1-1 tie in the fourth with a towering two-run home run to left center field.
Scouting Northern Iowa
The Northern Iowa Panthers are 12-33-1 overall and 2-17 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Nikke Ferden is batting .292 and has started every game to lead the Panthers. Three Panthers have collected over 25 RBI.
Monica Wright and Uju Ibekwe split time in the circle for UNI. Wright is 7-18 with a 4.25 ERA, while Ibekwe is 5-14 with a 4.36 ERA.
The Panthers are coached by Christy Hebert, who was an all-American in 1996-97 at Iowa. Iowa leads the series, 22-14.
Scouting Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 32-17 overall and 10-4 in Big Ten action.
Megan Schwab is batting .350 with four home runs and 24 RBI to lead the Buckeyes at the plate.
Kim Reeder, Jamee Juarez and Courtney Pruner have all seen time in the circle. Reeder is 13-7 with a 1.75 ERA while Juarez is 4-9 with a 2.63 ERA. Pruner has 17 appearances with a 5-1 record and a 2.95 ERA.
The Buckeyes are coached by Linda Kalafatis. Iowa leads the all-time series, 55-29.
Scouting Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 31-12 overall and 6-8 in Big Tn play.
Jen Williams leads the Nittany Lions at the dish with a .321 batting average. Ashley Esparza has a .294 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBI.
Missy Beseres is 17-5 with a 0.90 ERA in the circle. She also has a team-best 196 strikeouts.
The Nittany Lions are coached by Robin Petrini. Iowa leads the all-time series, 33-10.
Weil Making Her Mark
Freshman pitcher Brittany Weil is already making her mark in the Iowa softball record books. Her 226 strikeouts this season ranks eighth for single-season strikeouts and 10th in career strikeouts at Iowa. Weil has thrown 25 complete games this season, which also ranks 10th in school history.
Weil also leads the Big Ten in wins (23), games started (28) and innings pitched (231).
In her last six games, senior Kylie Murray is batting .438 (7-16) with one home run, two doubles and five RBI. The West Des Moines, IA, native has also tallied a .750 slugging percentage.
Downs Likes the Big Ten
Sophomore Summer Downs leads the team with a .344 (11-32) batting average in Big Ten play. Downs also has one home run, four doubles and eight RBI in conference action.
Nichols Feels Right at Home
Sophomore Emily Nichols must like the surroundings at Pearl Field. She is batting .419 (18-43) with two home runs, seven doubles and 13 RBI in 15 home games. Nichols also has recorded a .721 slugging percentage at Pearl Field.
Call Her Clutch
Junior Mindy Heidgerken might be the person that the Hawkeyes want in the box with runners on base. She is batting .400 with runners in scoring position and .556 with a runner on third and less than two outs. Heidgerken is also batting .386 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.
Over 50 Free
Men and women ages 50 and older will receive free admission to all softball and baseball game (non post-season events) played at Pearl Field and Banks Field during the month of May. This is part of an greement with the Johnson County Chapter of AARP.
Individuals simply need to show proof of their age (AARP card or driver’s license) upon arrival at the ticket gate.