March 7, 2007
IOWA CITY – Spring Break In California
The University of Iowa softball team opens its week-long Spring Break trip in Sunnyvale, CA, at the National Invitational Softball Tournament (NIST). Iowa opens play against No. 24 California Friday at 2:30 p.m. and UC Riverside at 8 p.m. The Hawkeyes take on Cal Poly at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Santa Clara at 5 p.m. Iowa closes the tournament against host-school San Jose State at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. All times listed are central.
Nichols on a Tear
Junior Emily Nichols has at least one hit in all 19 games this season and is currently on a 19-game hitting streak.
Nichols has nine multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games this season.
Nichols Only Three Away From Record
Junior Emily Nichols is only three home runs from breaking Iowa’s career home run mark of 29, set by Alicia Gerlach from 1999-02. Nichols currently has 26 home runs, including three this season.
Additionally, Nichols currently ranks eighth in career RBI with 105.
Hawkeyes Go 4-2 at Buzz Classic
Iowa finished the Buzz Classic last weekend with a 4-2 record. The Hawkeyes picked up wins over Gardner-Webb (5-3), Dartmouth (1-0), Georgia Southern (2-0) and Troy (10-2, six innings), but lost to Boston (7-5) and No. 24 Georgia Tech (6-0).
Junior Emily Nichols was named to the all-tournament team after batting .500 (8-16) with two home runs, three doubles and five RBI.
Last Year at the NIST
The Hawkeyes went 3-1 at the 2006 NIST, recording wins over St. Francis (15-0, five innings), San Jose State (3-2) and Santa Clara (6-5). Iowa’s only loss came against Arizona State (3-0).
Mindy Heidgerken finished the four-game tournament with a .615 (8-13) batting average, along with two doubles and three RBI. Erin Riemersma batted .429 (6-14) while Emily Nichols tallied one home run and five RBI.
Rematch Against UC Riverside
Iowa faced UC Riverside earlier this season at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, AZ, with the Hawkeyes earning a 9-1 victory. The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when the Hawkeyes plated two runs.
Iowa scored three runs in the fifth and four in the seventh for the win.
Junior Emily Nichols finished 3-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
Junior Stephanie Ackerson also collected two hits with four RBI.
Freshman Amanda Zust threw a complete game with a career-high seven strikeouts.
Hawkeyes In Big Ten Ranks
Junior Emily Nichols leads the Big Ten in batting average (.534), RBI (22), on base percentage (.582), runs scored (21) and total bases (56). She is second in hits (31) and doubles (8) and tied for third in home runs (5).
Sophomore Erin Riemersma is tied for second in stolen bases (8) and tied for fourth in walks (11).
Sophomore Rachel West is second in triples (3) and tied for fourth in stolen bases (7).
Senior Mindy Heidgerken is tied for sixth in stolen bases (6).
Junior Emily Nichols leads the Hawkeyes in virtually every offensive category. Her team-best numbers include at bats (58), runs (21), hits (31), doubles (8), home runs (5), RBI (22), total bases (56), slugging percentage (.966) and on-base percentage (.582).
Three in a Row at Third
Sophomore Rachel West tallied a triple in three-straight games at the Buzz Classic last weekend. West tripled against Boston, Dartmouth and Georgia Southern.
Ackerson K’s a Career High
Junior Stephanie Ackerson turned in an impressive pitching performance against Dartmouth last weekend. Ackerson threw a complete game one-hitter and stuck out a career-high 10 batters against the Big Green.
Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa is 38-41 in the stolen base department. Sophomore Erin Riemersma leads the team with eight stolen bases, while fellow sophomore Rachel West ranks second at six seven. Senior Mindy Heidgerken is a perfect 6-6 in stolen bases.
Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 26-8 in the first inning and 18-3 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.
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.