Big Weekend For Hawkeye Softball

April 19, 2007

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IOWA CITY – Big Weekend For the Hawkeyes
The University of Iowa softball team (31-17, 6-4) will host the top two teams in the Big Ten this weekend. The Hawkeyes face second place Penn State (21-13, 3-1) Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at Noon. Iowa and first place Ohio State (24-14, 5-1) will play a Sunday doubleheader starting at Noon.

Hawkeyes on the Air
The remaining games on Iowa’s schedule will be broadcast via the Internet at 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 Just click on the Gametracker link found on the softball schedule page.

Rout Against the Peacocks
Iowa hammered Upper Iowa, 10-0, in five innings Wednesday at Pearl Field. Freshman pitcher Amanda Zust tallied a career-high 12 strikeouts in five innings of work against the Peacocks.

Freshman Erin Riemersma and junior Emily Nichols each collected two hits and three RBI. A total of four Hawkeyes tallied two hits.

Iowa Sweeps Michigan State
The Hawkeyes picked up a pair of wins against Michigan State Sunday. Iowa won game one, 6-2, and game two, 7-2.

Sophomore Erin Riemersma finished a perfect 3-3, while junior Stephanie Ackerson went 2-2 at the plate in game one. Junior Emily Nichols also collected two hits.

Riemersma and junior Summer Downs each went deep in game two against the Spartans. Riemersma started the game with a line-drive home run in the first inning and Downs blasted a three-run home run to center field in the sixth.

Michigan Takes Two From Iowa
The Hawkeyes lost two games against ninth-ranked Michigan last weekend. The Wolverines took game one of the series, 3-2 in 10 innings, and game two, 2-0.

Iowa took a 2-0 lead in game one off a home run in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth, both by junior Emily Nichols.

Michigan tied the game in the seventh with a two-run home run by Samantha Findlay and took the lead for good in the top of the 10th with an RBI single by Maggie Viefhaus.

Freshman Taylor Leichsenring, junior Summer Downs and senior Sami Baugh were the only Hawkeyes to record a hit.

Scouting Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 21-13 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play.

Danielle Kinley leads the Nittany Lion offense with a .430 batting average. She also has a team-best 24 RBI. Four players have at least three home runs.

Ashley Esparza is 10-7 with a 2.15 earned run average. She has pitched 107.1 innings and leads the team with 110 strikeouts. Jenn Reynolds is 10-5 with a 3.00 earned run average in 100.1 innings pitched.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 34-11.

Scouting Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 24-14 overall and 5-1 in Big Ten action.

Sam Marder is batting .364 with a team-high eight home runs and 35 RBI to lead the Buckeyes at the plate. Ohio State has four players with a batting average above .300.

Jamee Juarez is 10-8 with a 1.89 earned run average and leads the team with 131 strikeouts in 115 innings pitched. Kim Reeder is 12-5 with a 2.53 earned run average and has 102 strikeouts.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 56-29.

Busy Weekend For Weil
Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil appeared in all four games last weekend and threw 26.2 innings. She started the first three games and threw just over three innings of relief in the last game of the weekend against Michigan State.

Weil tossed all 10 innings against Michigan Friday. She threw 186 pitches with 125 crossing the plate for strikes.

She finished the weekend with 14 strikeouts and walked only two batters.

Lucky Number Six
Iowa scored a total of six runs in the sixth inning against Michigan State.

The Hawkeyes plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth during game one of the doubleheader. Sophomore Quinn Morelock hit an RBI double, freshman Taylor Leichsenring hit a fielder’s choice RBI and junior Emily Nichols roped a two-RBI double to give Iowa the win.

Iowa scored two runs off a Michigan State error in the top of the sixth in game two of the twin bill.

West at Pearl Field
Sophomore Rachel West must like the friendly confines of Pearl Field. She is batting .409 (9-22) with one home run, one double and has scored nine runs in nine home games this season.

West is also a perfect 6-6 in stolen bases at Pearl Field.

Riemersma Heating Up
Sophomore Erin Riemersma collected five hits last weekend, including a home run against Michigan State. She also scored five runs and stole two bases.

Riemersma went 2-2 with three RBI and scored three runs against Upper Iowa Wednesday.

She leads the team with 38 runs scored and is also first on the team with a .406 batting average in conference play.

Weil Back to Form
After missing the first five weeks of the season with a head injury, sophomore Brittany Weil is once again leading the Hawkeye pitching staff.

Weil ranks first among Hawkeye pitchers in wins (13), earned run average (1.38), complete games (12), shutouts (6) and saves (1).

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 (5-5) with the bases loaded, .581 (25-43) with runners in scoring position and .667 (10-15) 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 93 bases this season. Sophomore Rachel West leads the team with 25 stolen bases followed by sophomore Erin Riemersma with 15 senior Mindy Heidgerken with 14.

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

Scoring Early and Often
The Hawkeyes have scored 106 of their 219 runs in the first three innings of games this season.

Iowa is outscoring their opponents in every inning except the third inning.

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.

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 10 home runs 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.

Weather Line
Fans of Iowa softball can now call to check if a home game is delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather. The number to call is (319) 335-9450.

Click HERE for more information about the Big Ten Network.