Hawkeyes Return To Big Ten Action

April 4, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

IOWA CITY – Hawkeyes Return to Big Ten Action
The University of Iowa softball have won 10-straight games and will hit the road this weekend for games against Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes face Minnesota Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at Noon. Iowa then travels to Wisconsin for a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Air
The remaining games on Iowa’s schedule will be broadcast via the Internet at hawkeyesports.com. Jerry Kiwala or Rob Brooks will handle play-by-play commentary.

The broadcasts are free and can be found in the Hawkeye All-Access section.

Hawkeyes on the Web
Iowa softball fans can follow the Hawkeyes every week with Gametracker at hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the Gametracker link found on the softball schedule page.

Brown Helps Iowa Clinch Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series
Freshman Katie Brown recorded a pinch-hit, two-RBI double to help Iowa defeat Iowa State, 2-1 Tuesday at Pearl Field. The win helped the University of Iowa clinch the 2006-07 Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series.

Sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin doubled in the bottom of the fourth to get things started for Iowa. Sophomore Rachel West followed with a single, moving McGlaughlin to third. West then stole second and Brown followed with her second double of the season.

Weil Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week
Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for her efforts during Iowa’s five-game road trip last week. This is the first time Weil has earned the award.

Weil picked up five wins with a 0.78 ERA in 27 innings pitched last week. She collected 27 strikeouts and helped Iowa to a 4-0 record in the opening weekend of Big Ten play.

Scouting Minnesota
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 13-14 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten action.

Mandy Valadez is batting .323 with four home runs, four doubles and 13 RBI. Megan Higginbotham has started all 27 games and leads the team with 15 home runs and seven doubles.

Briana Hassett is 7-5 with a 2.14 ERA and leads the team with 80 strikeouts. Katie Dalen is 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA and Rene Konderik is 3-6 with a 4.11 ERA.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 48-36.

Scouting Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Badgers are 17-11 overall and 0-4 in Big Ten play.

Katie Hnatyk leads Wisconsin at the plate. She is batting .374 (34-91) with 10 home runs, five doubles and 29 RBI. Ricci Robben, Alexis Garcia and Samantha Polito are all batting over .300.

Eden Brock is 9-6 with a 2.10 ERA to lead the Badgers inside the circle. Brock also leads the team with 121 strikeouts and has walked only 24 batters in 100 innings of work.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 21-5.

Nichols Breaks Home Run Mark
Junior Emily Nichols broke Iowa’s career home run record with a two-run home run against Indiana on March 31. Nichols’ home run cleared the center field fence and gave Iowa a 9-0, six-inning win over the Hoosiers.

Nichols passed former Hawkeye Alicia Gerlach, who hit 29 career home runs from 1999-02.

Nichols set Iowa’s single-season home run mark with 16 long balls as a freshman along with five as a sophomore. She currently has nine home runs this season.

Iowa Starts Big Ten Season 4-0
The Hawkeyes opened Big Ten play with four road wins. Iowa defeated Indiana (4-0, 9-0 in six innings) and Purdue (6-1, 4-3 in nine innings).

The last time Iowa opened the Big Ten season with four-straight wins was in 2003, defeating Minnesota and Wisconsin twice.

Timely Hit For Brown
Freshman Katie Brown tallied her first career RBI in dramatic fashion, plating sophomore Rachel West with a deep single to send Iowa’s second game against Purdue into extra innings.

Weil Dominates Hoosiers
Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil turned in two impressive performances against Indiana last weekend. Weil threw 13-consecutive scoreless innings and did not allow a walk in the two-game series. She also struck out 12 batters and gave up only six hits.

Hawkeyes Cruising For A Weil
Iowa is 14-3 since sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil returned to the Iowa lineup against Colorado State. The Hawkeyes are currently on a nine-game winning streak and have won 14 of their last 15 contests.

Weil is 11-1 overall with a 1.00 earned run average and 103 strikeouts. The Garden Grove, CA, native is 4-0 with a 0.59 earned run average in conference play.

Heating Up In Conference Play
Sophomores Erin Riemersma and Colleen McGlaughlin along with junior Summer Downs started the conference season on fire at the plate.

Riemersma batted .500 (7-14) with two home runs, two doubles and five RBI. McGlaughlin and Downs each batted .429 (6-14). Downs tallied one home run and six RBI, while McGlaughlin recorded one RBI.

Heidgerken Solid Against Purdue
Senior Mindy Heidgerken led the Hawkeyes at the plate in their two-game series at Purdue last Sunday. Heidgerken went a combined 3-5 and knocked in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in Iowa’s 4-3, nine-inning win against the Boilermakers. She also had one sacrifice bunt and stole three bases.

Ducks on the Pond
The Hawkeyes would like either junior Emily Nichols or sophomore Erin Riemersma at the plate with runners on base.

Nichols is batting 1.000 (4-4) with the bases loaded, .514 (18-35) with runners in scoring position and .615 (8-13) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

Riemersma is batting .900 (9-10) with a runner on third and less than two outs.

Pinch-Hit Specialist
Sophomore Quinn Morelock is batting .625 (5-8) as a pinch-hitter for the Hawkeyes. Morelock has also recorded six of her 16 RBI as a pinch-hitter.

Junior Emily Nichols leads the Hawkeyes in virtually every offensive category. Her team-best numbers include at bats (139), runs (30), hits (60), doubles (14), home runs (9), RBI (34), total bases (103), slugging percentage (.741) and on-base percentage (.467).

Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa has stolen 80 bases this season. Sophomore Rachel West leads the team with 22 stolen bases followed by senior Mindy Heidgerken with 12 and sophomore Erin Riemersma with 11.

Sophomore Lindsey Digmannn is a perfect 9-9 on the basepaths this season.

Hitting Streak Snapped
Junior Emily Nichols’ school and Big Ten record hitting streak was snapped at the Capital Classic. Nichols failed to collect a hit against Mercer on March 16, ending her streak at 28 games.

Her 28-game hitting streak is also the seventh longest in NCAA history.

Ackerson Throws No-Hitter
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.

Iowa Extends Blevins’ Contract
University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta announced that Gayle Blevins’ contract has been extended thru June 30, 2011.

Blevins is the all-time winningest coach in Iowa softball history and has led the Hawkeyes to four College World Series appearances, five Big Ten regular season titles and two Big Ten Tournament championships..

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.

Brown and Zust will see time in the circle while Digmann will play scond base. Leichsenring is an outfielder and Daumen is a utility player who can catch or play first base.

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).

Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.