Hawkeyes Head To Louisville

Feb. 22, 2007

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IOWA CITY – Iowa Heads to Louisville
The University of Iowa softball team heads to Louisville, KY, this weekend to compete at the Red and Black Tournament. Iowa opens the tournament Saturday against Kent State at 10 a.m. and faces Kansas at 12 p.m. The Hawkeyes face host-school Louisville Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and will play another game later Sunday against a team to be determined.

Gametracker Available
All four of Iowa’s games this weekend will have livestats (gametracker). Fans can find the gametracker link on the right side of the softball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com. Fans can also find the gametracker links along with updated stats at the Red and Black Tournament page, found at uoflsports.com.

Hawkeyes Finish 2-3 at Littlewood Classic
Iowa finished last weekend’s Littlewood Classic with wins over UC Riverside (9-1) and Idaho State (10-4) and losses against North Carolina (5-10), Illinois State (1-5) and second-ranked Arizona State (3-4).

Nichols Tops the Big Ten
Junior Emily Nichols leads the Big Ten in hits (18), RBI (15) runs scored (12) and total bases (32). She also ranks second in slugging percentage (1.000) and doubles (3) and third in batting average (.563), home runs (3) and triples (1).

Yard Work Against Idaho State
Junior Emily Nichols finished a perfect 4-4 with two home runs and two RBI against Idaho State. Nichols leads the team with three home runs and 15 RBI.

Nichols batted .611 (11-18) with two home runs, two doubles, five RBI and eight runs scored in the five-game classic.

Filling in for a Weil
Junior Stephanie Ackerson along with freshmen Amanda Zust and Katie Brown have seen a lot of action in the first two tournaments while sophomore Brittany Weil is sidelined.

Zust has thrown a team-high 32.2 innings and has a team-best 31 strikeouts with three wins. Ackerson leads the team with a 1.30 ERA and also has three wins in the circle. Brown has thrown 3.1 innings.

Digmann Returns To Lineup
Freshman Lindsey Digmann returned to the Iineup Saturday against Illinois State. Digmann strained a hamstring in Iowa’s win over Marist February 9 and missed five games before her return on February 17.

Ackerson at the Plate
Junior Stephanie Ackerson has shown major strides at the plate in 2007. Ackerson already has more doubles (3) and RBI (7) this season than her previous two seasons combined (2 doubles and 6 RBI).

Baugh Coming On
Senior Sami Baugh has had an impressive start to the 2007 season. She is currently fourth on the team with a .320 batting average along with two doubles and seven RBI. Baugh has also thrown out two runners stealing.

Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa is 24-26 in the stolen base department. Sophomores Rachel West and Erin Riemersma along with senior Mindy Heidgerken lead the team with four stolen bases while freshman Lindsey Digmann is a perfect 3-3.

Numbers Don’t Lie
Iowa has out-hit its opponent in all six wins and has been out-hit in all four losses.

Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 19-6 in the first inning and 13-2 in the fifth inning of games this season.

Iowa is outscoring its opponents in every inning except the third and sixth innings.

Movin’ All Over
Iowa’s infield and outfield had a few different looks at the Littlewood Classic last weekend.

Summer Downs, Stephanie Ackerson and Katie Brown all played at first base while Downs, Erin Riemersma and Lindsey Digmann saw time at second base. Riemersma and Digmann both played shortstop as well.

Quinn Morelock, Jenna Spratt and Rachel West each played right field last weekend.

Sami Baugh, Emily Nichols, Colleen McGlaughlin and Mindy Heidgerken were the only Hawkeyes to play the same position all weekend. Baugh caught all five games, Nichols played at third, McGlaughlin played right field and Heidgerken played center field.

Weil Suffers Injury
Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil suffered an undisclosed injury during practice Thursday, February 1. Weil will be sidelined indefinitely.

Weil was a third team all-Big Ten selection as a freshman in 2005. She led the team with 270 strikeouts and 296 innings pitched.

Weil is expected to make a full recovery from the injury.

Blevins Reaches Milestones
Head Coach Gayle Blevins reached the 1,100 win mark with an 11-0, five-inning win over Howard. The win was also Blevins’ 800th win at Iowa.

Ackerson Throws No-Hitter in Opener
Junior Stephanie Ackerson took full advantage of her first career start in the circle, tossing a five-inning no-hitter in Iowa’s season opener against Howard. The Clive, IA, native allowed only four Howard baserunners and struck out five.

Prior to the start against Howard, Ackerson had only thrown 11 innings in relief.

No Runs Allowed
Iowa shut out its first two opponents of the season. That marks the first time since the 1998 season that the Hawkeyes have shut out their first two opponents of a season.

The 1998 squad recorded three-straight shutouts over Wisconsin, Arizona State and Illinois State to open the season.

Bringing Home the Runs
Iowa scored a total of 19 runs in its first two games of the season. That is the highest run total in the first two games of a season since 1999, when Iowa defeated Michigan State 3-2 and Illinois State, 16-5.

The most runs scored in the first two games of a season is 29 by the 1997 team.

Hawkeyes Add Five Freshmen
Iowa welcomes a class of five freshmen to the 2007 squad. Katie Brown, Lindsey Digmann, Taylor Leichsenring, and Amanda Zust hail from Iowa while walk-on Heidi Daumen is from Illinois.

Freshmen Win Rainbow Classic
Four of Iowa’s freshmen were members of the Iowa Select All-Star team that won the Rainbow Classic championship in Hawaii over the summer. Those freshmen include Katie Brown (Spirit Lake), Lindsey Digmann (Marion), Taylor Leichsenring (Amana) and Amanda Zust (Des Moines).

Iowa Adds Two New Coaches
Jen Fried and Stacy May are new members of the Iowa coaching staff. Fried is a volunteer assistant and May is a student assistant.

Fried joins the staff from Swarthmore College in Media, PA, where she was an assistant coach from 2005-06. Her duties included designing and implementing daily practices for outfielders along with batting instruction.

Fried played both softball and soccer at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. She was named the Centennial Conference Softball Player of the Year in 2004 and was an all-conference selection from 2001-04.

May was a four-year letterwinner at both third base and shortstop for Iowa from 2003-06. She was named both Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first team all-Big Ten in 2003. May was also a three-time NFCA all-Mideast Region pick and was a two-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America District 7 selection.

May was drafted by the Chicago Bandits of the National Professional Fastpitch League as the fourth pick in the second round in the 2006 draft. She earned the 2006 Nokona Rookie of the Year award and was also named to the all-NPF team.