Hawkeyes To Face Northwestern and Western Illinois

April 26, 2007

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IOWA CITY – This Week’s Action
The University of Iowa softball team (34-18, 9-5) travels to Evanston, IL, to face eighth-ranked Northwestern Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at Noon. The Hawkeyes return to Pearl Field Sunday to face Western Illinois in a single game starting at 2 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.

Tuesday’s Game at Northern Iowa Washed Out
Iowa’s game Tuesday at Northern Iowa was cancelled due to heavy rains in Cedar Falls. The game will not be rescheduled.

Iowa Wins Two Against Penn State
The Hawkeyes picked up two conference wins against Penn State last Friday and Saturday. Iowa won the first game, 1-0, and won game two, 7-0.

In game one, Iowa scored the only run of the contest in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Emily Nichols plated sophomore Erin Riemersma with an RBI single up the middle.

Eight different Hawkeyes collected a hit in game two against the Nittany Lions, including home runs by Nichols and fellow junior Summer Downs.

Split Against the Buckeyes
Iowa and Ohio State split a pair of games last Sunday at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes scored seven unanswered runs for a 7-3 win in game one, but fell in game two, 1-0.

In game one, Nichols capped Iowa’s comeback with a three-run home run in the fifth to give the Hawkeyes their first lead of the game at 5-3. Senior Mindy Heidgerken and freshman Taylor Leichsenring each tallied two hits and scored a run.

Ohio State scored game two’s lone run in the fifth off a sacrifice fly to manage the split.

Scouting Northwestern
The eighth-ranked Northwestern Wildcats are 37-10 overall and 11-3 in Big Ten play.

Tammy Williams has started all 47 games and leads the team with a .465 batting average. Garland Cooper has a team-best 19 home runs and 58 RBI.

Lauren Delany and Eileen Canney split time in the circle. Delany is 16-2 with a 1.59 earned run average and has 165 strikeouts. Canney is 21-8 with a 1.86 earned run average and has 243 strikeouts to just 76 walks.

Iowa trails the all-time series, 41-43. Northwestern is the only team in the Big Ten that has the upper-hand in the all-time series against the Hawkeyes.

Scouting Western Illinois
The Western Illinois Westerwinds are 18-20 overall and 8-2 in Mid-Continent conference play. The Westerwinds play a doubleheader at Bradley Thursday before traveling to Iowa City.

Lauren Furgala leads the team with a .352 batting average. Samantha Valentine has a team-high 23 RBI and is tied with Nicole Green for the team lead in home runs with four.

Kamren Ferguson is 12-5 with a 2.25 earned run average and 83 strikeouts in the circle.

Iowa leads the all-time series, 19-18.

Van Vlymen Returns to Pearl
Western Illinois coach Holly Van Vlymen returns to Iowa City where she spent four years as an assistant coach. She was a part of the coaching staff that was named the NFCA Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2003.

Weil Shuts Down Penn State
Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil threw 14 innings of shutout softball against Penn State last weekend.

Weil threw a pair of five-hitters and struck out a total of 14 batters and walked only four.

Zust Picks Up First Big Ten Win
Freshman Amanda Zust threw five innings in relief in game one of a doubleheader against Ohio State to record her first career Big Ten win.

Zust shut down the potent Buckeye offense, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out five.

Hawkeyes in Big Ten Stats
Here is a list of where different Hawkeyes rank in the top five of different categories.

All GamesPlayer            Category                Rank
Brittany Weil ERA (1.36) 1st
Rachel West Stolen Bases (27) 2nd
Emily Nichols Total Bases (123) 2nd
Emily Nichols RBI (47) 3rd
Emily Nichols Batting Avg. (.413) 3rd
Emily Nichols Hits (71) 3rd
Brittany Weil Saves (2) T3rd
Rachel West Triples (4) T3rd
Erin Riemersma Stolen Bases (16) T4th
Mindy Heidgerken Stolen Bases (16) T4th
Brittany Weil K's Looking (40) 5th
Emily Nichols Doubles (14) T5th
Colleen McGlaughlin Doubles (14) T5th

Big Ten GamesPlayer Category Rank
Amanda Zust ERA (0.75) 1st
Brittany Weil Innings Pitched (80.1)1st
Brittany Weil K's Looking (21) 1st
Brittany Weil Starts (11) 1st
Brittany Weil Appearances (14) 1st
Brittany Weil Wins (8) T1st
Brittany Weil Strikeouts (64) 2nd
Brittany Weil ERA (1.48) 3rd
Brittany Weil Saves (1) T3rd
Rachel West Stolen Bases (8) 1st
Summer Downs Doubles (5) T1st
Mindy Heidgerken Stolen Bases (7) 2nd
Erin Riemersma Runs Scored (13) T2nd
Emily Nichols RBI (15) 3rd
Erin Riemersma Stolen Bases (4) T4th
Summer Downs RBI (13) 5th
Summer Downs Total Bases (29) T5th
Emily Nichols Total Bases (29) T5th
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Nichols plated the game-winning run with an RBI single in Friday’s game against Penn State and gave Iowa an early lead with a solo home run in the third inning of Saturday’s matchup against the Nittany Lions.

The Portland, OR, native capped Iowa’s comeback in game one against Ohio State with a three-run home run to give Iowa its first lead of the game at 5-3.

Riemersma Likes the Big Ten
Sophomore Erin Riemersma leads the Hawkeyes with a .372 batting average in Big Ten play. Riemersma has 16 hits along with three home runs, three doubles, six RBI and 13 runs scored in 14 conference games.

McGlaughlin Over the Weekend
Sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin batted .625 (5-8) with a double and a walk in Iowa’s games against Penn State and Ohio State. McGlaughlin also recorded four sacrifice bunts.

Quick on the Basepaths
As a team, Iowa has stolen 101 bases this season. Sophomore Rachel West leads the team with 27 stolen bases, followed by sophomore Erin Riemersma and senior Mindy Heidgerken, each with 15.

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 March 16. Nichols failed to collect a hit against Mercer, ending her streak at 28 games.

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 currently has 32 career home runs.

Ackerson No-Hits Howard in Season 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.

Prior to the start against Howard, Ackerson had only thrown 11 innings in relief.

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.