Hawkeyes Finish In Florida Before Re-Opening Pearl Field

March 16, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team will continue its Spring Break trip this week, playing four games over the next four days. Below is Iowa’s schedule this week. All times listed are Central.

Iowa will then play its first two home games of the season Sunday, March 22, in a doubleheader against South Dakota, starting at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 17 (at Stetson, DeLand, FL)
vs. Long Island 2 p.m.
at Stetson 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18
at Bethune Cookman 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 19
at Central Florida 4 p.m.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Fans who can’t make it to Florida this weekend can follow the action at gohatters.com, where live stats and live video will be available. Links for live stats can be found by clicking on the “Live Stats” tab at the top of the gohatters.com home page. Live video requires a $9.95 payment, and can be accessed under the “Live Events” tab.

Gametracker links for Iowa’s games at Bethune Cookman and Central Florida, along with all Iowa home games, can be found on hawkeyesports.com. The links can be accessed under the schedule tab on the home page or on the softball schedule page.

Starting with Iowa’s home opener Sunday against South Dakota State, the remainder of Hawkeye softball games will be broadcast over the internet at hawkeyesports.com (for a fee). The “Listen” links can be found next to the Gametracker links. Rob Brooks enters his third season calling the action for Iowa softball.

Iowa in the Polls ? The Hawkeyes are listed as receiving votes in both the latest USA Today/NFCA and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls.

Opponents in the Polls ? Six Iowa opponents are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls.

UCLA (5th/4th), Arizona State (6th/11th), Michigan (10th/10th), Northwestern (13th/12th), Ohio State (22nd/17th) and Florida State (25th/24th) are all ranked.

In addition, Texas is receiving votes in both polls while Illinois and Long Beach State are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.

Blevins Closing in on Milestone ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is closing in on yet another milestone at Iowa.

Blevins, who is the second-winningest active coach in Division I softball history, enters this week just two wins away from collecting her 900th career win at Iowa. Blevins is the most successful coach in Iowa softball history, with a record of 898-406-3 (.688).

Home Sweet Home ? The Hawkeyes are scheduled to play their home opener March 22 against South Dakota. Iowa will have played 29-straight games on the road before seeing Pearl Field.

Pearl Field was gutted and re-built after the Flood of 2008, with new additions including a new Hilltopper infield surface and new outfield sod, new concessions and restrooms, new locker rooms and team meeting areas among other additions.

Stetson Classic Recap ? The Hawkeyes moved to 20-5 on the season after going 4-1 at the Stetson Classic last weekend.

Iowa picked two wins each over Hartford (7-1, 10-0) and Cornell (11-3 in five innings, 5-3). Iowa’s lone loss came to host-school Stetson, 6-5 in eight innings.

On Fire ? Iowa has won 14 of its last 16 games, including six of its last seven.

The Hawkeyes have won their previous three games and have not suffered back-to-back losses yet this season.

Sending Them Home ? As a team, the Hawkeyes outscored their opponents 38-13 last weekend at the Stetson Classic. Iowa scored a season-high 11 runs Saturday against Cornell and followed with 10 runs against Hartford.

Pounding Out Hits ? Iowa batted .383 in five games played last weekend, collecting 57 hits. The Hawkeyes recorded a .557 slugging percentage, with five home runs, nine doubles and one triple. Iowa also drove in 33 of the 38 runs.

Big Weekends ? Junior Katie Brown finished the Stetson Classic with a .533 batting average (8-15) with a .733 slugging percentage. Sophomore Chelsey Carmody hit .474, while senior Colleen McGlaughlin batted .444 with two home runs, one double, five RBI and a .833 slugging percentage.

Not Playing Like a Freshman ? Liz Watkins’ numbers this season are not those of a typical freshman.

Watkins leads the team with four home runs and a .627 slugging percentage. She is also tied for the team lead with 18 RBI.

Weil Getting Close to Records ? Senior Brittany Weil is close to becoming Iowa’s all-time strikeout and wins leader.

Weil is just 63 strikeouts and 16 wins away from breaking both records. She also ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in complete games (3rd), innings pitched (4th), games pitched (5th) and shutouts (5th).

Weil Drafted ? Senior pitcher Brittany Weil was one of 25 NCAA softball seniors chosen in the National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Draft Feb. 17. Weil, who wears No. 7 at Iowa, was drafted by the Akron Rachers as the seventh overall pick in the draft (second pick of the second round).

Weil, who will join the Racers once the Hawkeyes finish their 2009 season, is the fourth Hawkeye to play in the NPF, and the third since 2005 to be drafted. Stacy May and Emily Nichols were both selected in the second round of the NPF Draft by the Chicago Bandits in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Kristin Johnson was also a member of the Akron Racers from 2003-07.

McGlaughlin Up For CLASS Award ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin is one of 30 softball student athletes nationally to be nominated for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

The award, which stands for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School,” focuses on the total student-athlete. To be eligible, student-athletes must have notable accomplishments in four areas of excellence: classroom, character, community and competition.

The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the softball season. Ballots will then be distributed through a nationwide voting system and the award winner will be recognized at the 2009 NCAA Women’s College World Series.