April 12, 2007
IOWA CITY – Hawkeyes Host Big Ten Action
The University of Iowa softball team (28-15, 4-2) will host ninth-ranked Michigan (28-6, 1-1) and Michigan State (19-17, 0-2) this weekend. The Hawkeyes and Wolverines are scheduled to play Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at Noon. Iowa will face the Spartans in a doubleheader Sunday starting at Noon. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 18 and under along with UI students.
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.
Game Against South Dakota State Cancelled
Iowa’s game Wednesday against South Dakota State was cancelled due to heavy snow in the Iowa City area. The game will not be rescheduled.
Games Cancelled Across the Big Ten
Iowa was one of only five Big Ten teams to play last weekend. Iowa’s two-game series against Minnesota was cancelled due to cold weather and unplayable field conditions in Minneapolis. Purdue and Northwestern managed to play one game Friday and were the only teams to play on either Friday or Saturday.
Iowa and Wisconsin along with Northwestern and Indiana were the only teams able to play doubleheaders Sunday.
Iowa Drops Two at Wisconsin
The Hawkeyes dropped a pair of games last Sunday at Wisconsin. Iowa lost game one, 5-0, and game two, 4-1.
The ninth-ranked Michigan Wolverines are 29-6 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
Alessandra Giampaolo leads the Michigan offense with a .444 batting average. Samantha Findlay has a team-high six home runs and 22 RBI. Findlay’s sister, Angela, is batting .383 with four home runs and 17 RBI.
Both Lorilyn Wilson and Nikki Nemitz have earned run averages under two. Wilson is 16-3 with a 1.42 ERA and has a team-best 186 strikeouts. Nemitz is 12-3 with a 1.61 earned run average and 74 strikeouts.
Iowa leads the all-time series 51-44-1.
Scouting Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans are 19-17 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten action.
Kara Weigle leads the team with a .379 batting average and 39 RBI. Caitlin Mahoney has a team-best five home runs.
Megan Hair is 7-7 with a 2.95 earned run average while Rachel Turney is 6-8 with a 3.58 earned run average and a team-high 73 strikeouts.
Iowa leads the all-time series, 59-27.
Stranding Runners in Madison
The Hawkeyes stranded a combined 15 runners on base in their doubleheader against Wisconsin, including 12 in scoring position.
Iowa stranded nine runners (six in scoring position) in game one and all six in scoring position in game two.
Ackerson .500 at Wisconsin
Junior Stephanie Ackerson led Iowa at the plate last weekend in Madison. Ackerson batted .500 (2-4), along with a walk, and was hit by a pitch.
Both sophomore are batting .400 (8-20) in six Big Ten games. Riemersma has two home runs, two doubles, five RBI and six runs scored while McGlaughlin has one double, one RBI and one run scored.
Hawkeyes Cruising For A Weil
Iowa is 14-5 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 17 contests.
Weil is 11-2 overall with a 1.31 earned run average and 114 strikeouts.
Nichols is batting 1.000 (4-4) with the bases loaded, .526 (20-38) with runners in scoring position and .643 (9-14) 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.
Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa has stolen 84 bases this season. Sophomore Rachel West leads the team with 22 stolen bases followed by senior Mindy Heidgerken and sophomore Erin Riemersma with 12.
Sophomore Lindsey Digmannn is a perfect 9-9 on the basepaths this season.
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.
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 March 28-April 1. This was the first time Weil earned the award.
Weil picked up five wins with a 0.78 ERA in 27 innings. She collected 27 strikeouts and helped Iowa to a 4-0 record in the opening weekend of Big Ten play.
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.
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.
Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.