Hawkeyes Set To Host Final Home Big Ten Games

April 17, 2008

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team concludes its nine-game homestand this weekend by hosting Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Hawkeyes and Wisconsin have single games scheduled Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (noon). Iowa and Minnesota will play a doubleheader starting at noon Sunday.

Iowa has won five of its last six games and 11 of its last 14, dating back to March 26.

Hawkeyes on TV ? Both games of Sunday’s doubleheader against Minnesota will be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network (HD). Justin Kutcher will call the play-by-play and Tracy Warren 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.

Hawkeyes Crack Top 25 ? Iowa is ranked 25th in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Hawkeyes are also receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll.

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 (2nd/1st), Florida (3rd/3rd), Michigan (6th/5th), Northwestern (13th/13th), North Carolina (15th/17th), Louisiana-Lafayette (17th/18th) and DePaul (20th/25th) are all ranked.

In addition, Central Florida is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.

Scouting Wisconsin ? The Wisconsin Badgers are 12-33 overall and are in 11th place in the Big Ten with a 2-10 record. The Badgers enter the weekend with a team batting average of .205 and a team earned run average of 4.32.

Joey Daniels leads the team with a .288 batting average. Lynn Anderson has a team-best seven home runs while Ricci Robben has 19 RBI.

Leah Vanevenhoven is 4-19 with a 4.00 earned run average and has a team-high 110 strikeouts. Letty Olivarez is 5-13 with a 4.50 earned run average and has 96 strikeouts.

Last Time vs. the Badgers ? Iowa dropped both games of a doubleheader last season in a cold, windy and snowy Madison, 5-0 and 4-1.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin Pitching ? Junior Colleen McGlaughlin is 1-3 with a double against Letty Olivarez, who limited Iowa to just three hits in game one of last season’s doubleheader.

Scouting Minnesota ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 21-12 overall and are tied for fifth in the Big Ten with a 4-4 record. Minnesota is batting .254 as a team and has a team earned run average of 2.99. The Golden Gophers play at Illinois Friday and Saturday before traveling to Iowa City.

Colleen Conway is batting .349 while Shannon Stemper has a team-best 19 RBI. Casey Wheeler leads the team with three home runs.

Briana Hassett is 14-5 with a 1.99 earned run average and has 180 strikeouts. Katie Dalen is 7-7 with a 4.27 earned run average and 77 strikeouts.

Last Time vs. the Golden Gophers ? The two teams did not meet last season due to cold temperatures in Minneapolis. Iowa swept Minnesota in 2006, winning 2-0 and 3-0 in Iowa City.

Iowa vs. Minnesota Pitching ? Senior Emily Nichols is 1-5 in her career vs. Katie Dalen and 1-2 with a double against Briana Hassett. Junior Erin Riemersma is 1-2 with a triple against Hassett.

Weil Named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week ? Junior pitcher Brittany Weil was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, sharing the honor with Michigan’s Nikki Nemitz. This is the third time this season and the fourth time in her career Weil has earned the honor.

The Garden Grove, CA native tossed a complete game two-hitter while striking out nine in Iowa’s upset win over 14th-ranked Northwestern Sunday.

She started the weekend by tying her season-high in strikeouts with 11 against Michigan State Friday night.

Hawkeyes on a Roll ? Iowa is currently alone in third place in the Big Ten standings with a 7-3 record and just two games out of first place.

The Hawkeyes have also split a pair of games with both Michigan and Northwestern, who are the only two teams ahead of Iowa in the standings.

The Wildcats and Wolverines play a doubleheader April 27 in Ann Arbor, MI.

Defense Wins ? If the saying “defense wins championships” is true, the Hawkeyes might have a good shot at winning the Big Ten title this season.

In Big Ten games, Iowa tops the conference with a .980 fielding percentage. The Hawkeyes have recorded 206 putouts and 82 assists and have committed only six errors. Iowa has also turned a conference-best six double-plays.

McGlaughlin in Big Ten Play ? Junior Colleen McGlaughlin heads into this weekend batting .414 (12-29) with two home runs, three doubles, seven RBI and seven runs scored in conference play.

In addition, she has recorded 32 putouts and 17 assists without committing an error while playing first base, third base and left field.

Scoring Runners ? When looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see why junior Colleen McGlaughlin leads the team in RBI.

McGlaughlin is batting .625 (10-16) with a runner on third and less than two outs. She is also batting .500 (1-2) with the bases loaded.

One of the Best ? Iowa’s pitching duo of Amanda Zust and Brittany Weil are proving themselves as one of the best staffs in the country.

Entering the weekend, Iowa’s team earned run average of 1.33 ranks ninth-best in the country.

Weil also ranks 20th individually with a 1.08 earned run average while Zust is 34th with a 1.24 ERA.

Staff Likes Pearl Field ? Iowa’s pitching staff must enjoy the friendly confines of Pearl Field.

Sophomore Amanda Zust is 2-0 with a 0.55 earned run average and Brittany Weil is 4-1 with a 0.59 earned run average at Pearl Field.

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 22-2 when leading after four innings, 25-2 when leading after five and 22-0 when leading after six.

Scoring Early and Often ? Iowa is outscoring its opponents, 31-13 in the first inning and 22-6 in the fourth inning.

The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents, 143-72 in 42 games played.

Queens of the Road ? The Hawkeyes have played 35 of their 42 games this season on the road. Iowa has an away record of 7-6 and a neutral site mark of 16-6.

Iowa is scheduled to play seven of its final 10 games of the regular season on the road, as well.

Wisconsin Series Notes ? Iowa leads the all-times series, 21-7.

? Wisconsin has won four out of the last six meetings dating back to the 2005 season. Prior to that, Iowa won 10 out of 11 contests between 2000-04.

? Free mini-helmets and key chains will be given away to fans attending Saturday’s game.

? The Iowa softball team will host an ice cream social after Saturday’s game under the pavilion at the Iowa Softball Complex.


Minnesota Series Notes ? Iowa leads the all-times series, 48-36.

? The Hawkeyes have dominated the series recently, winning 14 of the last 15 games dating back to the 1999 season. Iowa’s lone loss during the stretch came during the 2004 season in Minneapolis.

? Iowa opened the 2008 season at the Metrodome Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota, but the two teams did not play each other.

? Iowa and Minnesota share five common opponents. The Golden Gophers defeated Western Illinois (8-2), Tennessee Tech (7-0), Drake (7-6) and Miami, OH (3-2). Minnesota is also 1-1 vs. Northern Iowa (4-6, 1-0) and was defeated by Arkansas (2-1). The Hawkeyes defeated Western Illinois (2-0), Tennessee Tech (1-0), Northern Iowa (1-0), Drake (4-1), Miami, OH (3-2), but fell to Arkansas (5-3).

? Sunday’s doublheader will serve as “Senior Day” for Emily Nichols and Summer Downs.

? Sunday’s doubleheader will also be “Strikeout Cancer” day at Pearl Field. Any fan wearing pink will receive free admission and pink Hawkeye koozies and pom-poms will be given away. The Hawkeyes will be wearing special pink jerseys and the Holden Cancer Research Center will have an informational table and representatives present at the game. Fans can make donations payable to the UI Foundation (Holden Cancer Center in check reference) and send them to:

UI Foundation
Levitt Center For University Advancement
One West Park Rd.
PO Box 4550
Iowa City, IA 52242-4550

Tough Schedule in 2008 ? Twelve of Iowa’s opponents are inside the top 50 of the latest NCAA RPI, released April 9. The Hawkeyes have three wins over top 50 RPI teams (No. 4 Michigan, No. 16 Northwestern, No. 28 Louisiana-Lafayette).

Nine of Iowa’s 13 losses have also come to opponents with an RPI of 50 or better, including No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Michigan, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 16 Northwestern, No. 25 Florida State, No. 29 Central Florida, No. 20 DePaul and No. 42 Arkansas.

Iowa is also 14-12 against teams ranked 100 or higher in the NCAA RPI.

Nichols Named to Watch List ? Senior catcher Emily Nichols has been named to the 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List. The Portland, OR, native is one of 50 players to be selected. Nichols is the first Hawkeye player named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.

The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) sponsors the award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate softball. This is the seventh year the ASA has given the award.

Nichols Drafted ? Senior Emily Nichols was selected by the Chicago Bandits in Monday’s National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Draft. Nichols was the third pick in the second round and the ninth overall selection.

Carmody in the Books ? Freshman Chelsey Carmody tied two school records in Iowa’s 11-1, five-inning win over Utah Valley State March 9.

Carmody roped triples in her first two at-bats to tie the school record for triples in a single game. She also scored four runs, which tied the school record for runs scored in a single game.

No Need to Wait ? Freshman Jenny Schuelke wasted no time in recording her first career home run as a Hawkeye. The Solon, IA, native’s first hit in Black and Gold was a towering, solo home run to left field in Iowa’s 4-1 win over Drake, Feb. 17.

New Assistant Coach ? Shane Bouman is in his first season as pitching coach for the Hawkeyes.

Before coming to Iowa, Bouman served as head coach at South Dakota State for six seasons. He is the winningest coach in school history with 140 victories.

Bouman is also an accomplished softball pitcher. He is a four-time ASA all-American and a two-time NAFA all-American. He led five teams to ASA national championships and competed in nine International Softball Congress Tournaments.

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