Hawkeyes To Host Michigan State And Northwestern

April 10, 2008

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team will continue its nine-game homestand this weekend. Iowa will take on Michigan State in single games Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (noon). The Hawkeyes will host No. 14 Northwestern Sunday in a doubleheader starting at noon. All times listed are central.

Iowa has won six of its last seven games and eight of its last 10 dating back to March 26.

Hawkeyes on TV ? Saturday’s game against Michigan State will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network (HD) on a same-day delay. The game will air at 4:30 p.m. (CDT). Tim Nevrett will call the play-by-play and Amanda Scott will provide color commentary.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans can follow along with Gametracker via hawkeyesports.com. Gametracker links can be found on the softball schedule page.

The remainder of Iowa softball games will be broadcast live on hawkeyesports.com. Fans can listen for free, but do have to go through a quick registration. Audio links can be found next to the Gametracker links. Rob Brooks will handle the play-by-play.

Iowa in the Polls ? Iowa is receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls. Opponents in the Polls ? Seven Iowa opponents are ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls. Arizona State (1st/2nd), Florida (3rd/4th), Michigan (6th/5th), Northwestern (14th/14th), North Carolina (15th/17th), DePaul (22nd/25th) and Louisiana-Lafayette (18th/21st) are all ranked.

In addition, Central Florida, Purdue, Ohio State and Florida State are all receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

Scouting Michigan State ? The Michigan State Spartans are 20-15 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play. The Spartans rank fourth in team batting average (.271) and third in team pitching (1.88) in the conference.

Nikki Nicosia leads the team and is third in the Big Ten with a .402 batting average. She also leads the conference in hits (49) and is fifth in slugging percentage (.672). Caitlin Mahoney has a team-high 22 RBI.

Lesley Noel is 11-9 with a 2.28 earned run average and has a team-high 101 strikeouts. Shae Bass is 6-3 with a 3.56 earned run average while Megan Hair is 3-2 with a 2.54 earned run average.

Last Time vs. the Spartans ? Iowa swept a Sunday doubleheader last seaon against Michigan State, 6-2 and 7-2 in Iowa City.

Junior Erin Riemersma finished a perfect 3-3 in game one and collected two hits in game two, including a home run in the first inning.

Scouting Northwestern ? The 14th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats are 20-9 overall and lead the Big Ten with a 6-0 record. Northwestern ranks second in both team batting average (.313) and team pitching (1.79).

Tammy Williams leads the Big Ten in batting average (.539) and on base percentage (.602). She also ranks second in the conference with a .831 slugging percentage.

Lauren Delaney tops the Big Ten with 230 strikeouts and 18 wins to lead the Wildcats in the circle.

Last Time vs. the Wildcats ? Iowa was swept by Northwestern in a Sunday doubleheader last season, 5-1 and 2-1. in Evanston Northwestern scored all seven runs off home runs over the weekend.

Call Her Clutch ? Junior Erin Riemersma has turned in two-straight clutch performances for Iowa.

In game two against Penn State, with Iowa trailing 4-3 in the fifth, Riemersma delievered a three-run home run into the teeth off a stiff wind to give Iowa a 6-4 advantage.

Against Illinois State, Riemersma tallied a full-count, two-out single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off win.

McGlaughlin on Fire ? Since returning from Spring Break, junior Colleen McGlaughlin is batting .444 (12-27) with one home run, two doubles, six RBI and four runs scored in nine games played. She also has tallied a .630 slugging percentage and a .531 on base percentage.

The Morton, IL, native has also played outstanding defense at first and third base along with left field. She has recorded 21 putouts and 23 assists without committing an error.

In addition, McGlaughlin leads the team with a .500 batting average (9-18) in conference play. She has a team-high five RBI and four runs scored. McGlaughlin also has a .778 slugging percentage.

Leichsenring at Pearl ? Sophomore Taylor Leichsnering must enjoy Pearl Field. She is bating .750 (3-4) in three home games this season.

In addtion, freshman Chelsey Carmody is batting .556 (5-9) with a triple and three RBI.

Holding Late Leads ? If the Hawkeyes are able to grab a lead after the fourth inning, chances are they will hold on for the win.

Iowa is 19-2 when leading after four innings, 22-2 when leading after five and 19-0 when leading after six.

Michigan State Series Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 61-27.

? The Hawkeyes are 8-3 against Michigan State in the last 11 meetings, dating back to 2001. Additionally, Iowa has won five of the previous six meetings, with the lone loss coming in 2006. The two teams did not play in 2005 due to inclement weather.

? Senior Summer Downs is batting .462 (6-13) with two home runs, two doubles and four RBI in her career against the Spartans. In addition, she is batting .500 (3-6) with four RBI against Michigan State pitcher Lesley Noel.

? Junior Erin Riemersma is batting .600 (3-5) with one home run against Spartan pitcher Megan Hair.

? Iowa and Michigan State share four common opponents. The Spartans defeated Florida State, 3-2, while the Hawkeyes fell, 2-0 to the Seminoles. Both teams competed in the Stetson Spring Classic, but did not play each other. Michigan State was defeated twice by Elon (5-4 in nine innings, 7-6), but defeated Stetson (2-0) and Bowling Green, (6-2). Iowa topped Elon (6-0) and Bowling Green (2-0) while splitting a pair of games against Stetson (2-1, 5-6).

? Michigan State Associate Head Coach Kathryn Gleason played at Michigan from 1993-96. Iowa was 9-8 against the Wolverines while Gleason was a player.

? Michigan State Assistant Coach Jessica Beech was a pitcher and outfielder for the Spartans from 2001-04. The Hawkeyes went 5-2 against Michigan State during Beech’s time as a Spartan.

Northwestern Series Notes ? Iowa trails in the all-time series, 41-45.

? Northwestern has dominated the series as of late, winning six of the last seven games dating back to 2005. Iowa’s last win over the Wildcats came in the 2005 Big Ten Tournament (2-1). Iowa’s last regular season win against Northwestern was in 2004, when the Hawkeyes swept a doubleheader at Pearl Field (7-2, 6-1).

? Iowa and Northwestern share Western Illinois as a common opponent. Both teams defeated Western Illinois, with Iowa coming away with a 2-0 win while Northwestern won, 8-0 in five innings.

? Northwestern sophomore Ashley Lafever is from Bettendorf, IA, and attended Pleasant Valley High School.

? Northwestern freshman Jordan Wheeler and Iowa junior Brittany Weil are both from Garden Grove, CA. Wheeler attended Los Alamitos High School and Weil graduated from Pacifica.

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