March 12, 2007
IOWA CITY – Hawkeyes Head to Sacramento
The University of Iowa softball team will play seven games this weekend in Sacramento, CA. The Hawkeyes take on Colorado State in a doubleheader Tuesday starting at 3 p.m. at Shea Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University.
Iowa will compete in the Capital Classic this weekend. The Hawkeyes face BYU in opening round action Friday at 3 p.m. at Shea Stadium. Play begins at the Sacramento Softball Complex Saturday when Iowa takes on Georgia Southern at 12 p.m. and Mercer at 2:30 p.m. The Tournament concludes Sunday when Iowa faces Cal Poly at 2:30 p.m. All times listed are central.
Nichols on a Tear
Junior Emily Nichols has at least one hit in all 24 games this season and is currently on a 24-game hitting streak. The 24-game streak is the longest hitting streak in Big Ten history and is the 10th longest in NCAA annals.
Nichols has 12 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 27 home runs, including six this season.
Additionally, Nichols currently ranks eighth in career RBI with 105.
Hawkeyes Go 2-3 at NIST
Iowa finished the National Invitational Softball Tournament (NIST) last weekend with a 2-3 record. The Hawkeyes picked up wins over Santa Clara (2-1) and San Jose State (9-8, 10 innings), but fell to No. 23 California (4-1), UC Riverside (7-5) and Cal Poly (6-0).
Junior Emily Nichols earned all-tournament team honors for the secod consecutive week after batting .400 (8-20) with one home run, one double and two RBI.
Last Year at the Capital Classic
Iowa finished the 2006 Capital Classic with a 1-3 record. The Hawkeyes defeated Nevada (5-0), but lost to Long Island (7-1), No. 6 California (1-0) and Syracuse (5-2).
Rain washed away Iowa’s games on Friday and its game against Jacksonville on Saturday.
Junior Emily Nichols batted .385 (5-13) with one double, two RBI and five runs scored.
Rematches This Weekend
The Hawkeyes will face three familiar teams this weekend at the Capital Classic. Iowa has already faced Georgia Southern, Cal Poly and Santa Clara once this season.
Freshman Amanda Zust threw a complete game two-hitter with four strikeouts against Georgia Southern.
The Hawkeyes scored a 2-1, comeback win over Santa Clara last weekend at the NIST. After Santa Clara took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, McGlaughlin started the rally with a single and pinch-runner Jenna Spratt later scored on a Santa Clara error. Ackerson then hit an RBI single to score West for the 2-1 win.
Zust threw a complete game two-hitter against Santa Clara, while striking out seven.
Cal Poly defeated Iowa, 6-0 last weekend at the NIST. The Mustangs scored two runs in the first, third and fourth innings.
Nichols, Spratt and sophomore Erin Riemersma each collected a hit.
Ackerson threw four innings in the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits and struck out one.
Junior Emily Nichols leads the Hawkeyes in virtually every offensive category. Her team-best numbers include at bats (78), runs (23), hits (39), doubles (9), home runs (6), RBI (24), total bases (68), slugging percentage (.872) and on-base percentage (.540).
Leichsenring Sees Some Time
Freshman Taylor Leichsenring started her first-career game in right field against Santa Clara last weekend at the NIST, going 1-3 at the plate. She also started against San Jose State and went 2-4 with an RBI.
No Sophomore Slump
Sophomore Rachel West has come on strong in Iowa’s last two tournaments.
West tallied a triple in three-straight games at the Buzz Classic and tallied four of her five RBI at the NIST. She also hit her first career home run against San Jose State at the NIST.
Seven’s Are Wild For Zust
Freshman Amanda Zust has tallied seven strikeouts in six different games this season. She has seven K’s against Marist, Stetson, UC Riverside, Kent State, California and Santa Clara.
Her season and career-high is nine against San Jose State last weekend.
Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa is 49-54 in the stolen base department. Sophomore Rachel West leads the team with 10 stolen bases followed by sophomore Erin Riemersma with nine. Senior Mindy Heidgerken is a perfect 6-6 on the basepaths.
Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 30-10 in the first inning and 21-4 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 on February 9. 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.