Hawkeyes Head To Georgia

March 1, 2007

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IOWA CITY – Hawkeyes Off To Georgia
The University of Iowa softball team heads to Woodstock, GA, this weekend to compete in the Buzz Classic. Iowa opens the tournament Friday at 11 a.m. vs. Gardner-Webb and 1 p.m. against Boston. The Hawkeyes face Dartmouth Saturday at 1 p.m. and Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. The teams will then be seeded and bracket play begins Sunday morning at 8 a.m.

Buzz Classic Champs in `05
Iowa claimed the Buzz Classic title in its last trip to the tournament in 2005. The Hawkeyes won seven out of eight games en route to the championship. Iowa defeated Georgia Southern twice (6-0, 6-0) before falling to Auburn (1-2). The Hawkeyes bounced back with five straight wins over Middle Tennessee (3-1), Gardner-Webb (9-1), Virginia Tech (3-1), Auburn (16-1) and Ohio State (5-0) in the championship game.

Back to Where it Started For Nichols
Junior Emily Nichols burst on to the scene as freshman at the 2005 Buzz Classic. She earned tournament MVP honors after batting .455 (10-22) with seven home runs and 15 RBI in the eight-game classic. She set school records for home runs (3), RBI (8) and total bases (12) in Iowa’s 16-1 thrashing of Auburn and was named Big Ten Player of the Week for her efforts.

In addition, Iowa set team records for home runs (7) and total bases (36) in a single game against Auburn.

Nichols on a Tear
Junior Emily Nichols has at least one hit in all 13 games this season and is currently on a 13-game hitting streak.

Nichols has seven multiple hit games and seven multiple RBI games this season.

vGood Weekend For Baugh
Senior Sami Baugh was the hero for Iowa in its 3-2, extra-inning win over Louisville last weekend. Baugh drove in both the tying and go-ahead run against the Cardinals. She also made two nice plays at home plate to deny Cardinal runners from scoring.

Nichols Getting Close to Record
Junior Emily Nichols is only five home runs away from breaking Iowa’s career home run mark of 29, set by Alicia Gerlach from 1999-02. Nichols currently has 24 home runs, including three this season.

Junior Emily Nichols leads the Hawkeyes in virtually every offensive category. Her team-best numbers include at bats (42), runs (13), hits (23), doubles (5), triples (1), home runs (3), RBI (17), total bases (39), slugging percentage (.929) and on-base percentage (.574).

Getting Back To Normal
Last weekend’s games were the first that Iowa had more than four players start every game at the same position.

Sami Baugh (C), Lindsey Digmann (2B), Erin Riemersma (SS), Emily Nichols (3B), Colleen McGlaughlin (LF), Mindy Heidgerken (CF) and Quinn Morelock (RF) started all three games at their respective positions.

Hot When It Counts
Three Hawkeyes have proven themselves in key situations so far in 2007.

Junior Emily Nichols is batting .636 (7-11) with two outs, .750 (3-4) with a runner on third and less than two outs and .688 (11-16) with runners in scoring position.

Senior Sami Baugh is batting .500 (4-8) with two outs and is batting .750 (3-4) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

Sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin is batting .571 (4-7) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

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 third on the team with a .364 batting average along with four doubles and seven RBI. Baugh has also thrown out three runners stealing.

Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa is 34-36 in the stolen base department. Sophomore Erin Riemersma leads the team with seven stolen bases while fellow sophomore Rachel West ranks second at six swipes. Senior Mindy Heidgerken is a perfect 5-5 in stolen bases.

Numbers Don’t Lie
Iowa has out-hit its opponent in six of its seven wins and has been out-hit in all four losses. The Hawkeyes are also 1-0 when the number of hits are equal.

Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 20-6 in the first inning and 16-2 in the fifth inning of games this season.

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

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.

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.