Hawkeyes To Play Two Mid-Week Games

April 6, 2009

On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team hosts intra-state rival Iowa State Tuesday at 5 p.m. before traveling to Macomb, IL, to face Western Illinois Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Tickets for Tuesday’s home game are $3 for adults and free for UI students and children 18 and under.

This Week’s Promotions ? Tuesday is “Blackout Beat State” at Pearl Field. Fans are encouraged to wear black and “Beat State” t-shirts will be handed out. The second set of Iowa softball trading cards will also be given out before the game.

UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta will also throw out the first pitch.

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Gametracker links for all Iowa 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.

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 is in 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 Top 25 and in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.

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

Arizona State (4th/8th), UCLA (7th/5th), Northwestern (8th/7th), Michigan (10th/9th), Ohio State (17th/15th), Florida State (21st/RV) and Texas (25th/T22nd) are all ranked.

In addition, Cal State Fullerton and Illinois are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, while Northern Iowa is receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.

Scouting Iowa State ? The Iowa State Cyclones are 19-20 overall and 1-5 in Big 12 play.

The Cyclone offense is led by Carleigh Berry, who is batting .319. Berry also leads the team with 15 stolen bases. Alex Johnson and Sydni Jones have a team-best four home runs, while Johnson also leads the team with 29 RBI.

Rachel Zabriskie is 12-15 with a 2.18 earned run average in the circle. She has thrown 189.2 of Iowa State’s 264.2 innings and leads the team with 156 strikeouts to just 28 walks. Charissa Carlin is 7-5 with a 3.77 earned run average and 40 K’s to 17 base on balls.

Iowa State vs. Iowa Notes
? Iowa leads the all-time series, 29-28-1. The Hawkeyes have won the previous five meetings, with their last loss coming at Pearl Field in 2003 (4-3 in 12 innings).

? Both teams have two Solon, IA, natives that attended Solon High School. Iowa has senior Quinn Morelock and sophomore Jenny Schuelke, while Iowa State has junior Kelsey Kidwell and freshman Heidi Kidwell. The four were teammates at Solon at one point in time.

? Iowa junior Lindsey Digmann and Iowa State freshman Katie Harms both attended Linn-Mar High School in Marion, IA.

? Junior Katie Brown has delivered two game-winning hits against the Cyclones already in her career. As a freshman in 2007, Brown drove in the game-winning run April 3. In 2008 as a sophomore, Brown hit a home run to give Iowa the win in Ames.

Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? The University of Iowa has already clinched the 2008-09 Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series, and currently leads by a 19-4 advantage. The Hawkeyes picked up wins in nine of the first 11 events to secure the trophy.

Iowa can pick up an additional two points with a win Tuesday in softball.

Scouting Western Illinois ? The Western Illinois Westerwinds are 14-14 overall and 7-1 in Summit League action.

Jamie Goss leads the team with a .382 batting average and 18 RBI. Four players, including Goss, have two home runs on the season.

Kamren Ferguson is 8-7 with a 2.60 earned run average to lead the Westerwinds in the circle. She also has a team-high 79 strikeouts. Lori Pankratz is 3-6 with a 3.79 earned run average and 47 K’s.

Iowa vs. Western Illinois Notes
? Iowa leads the all-time series, 22-18. Iowa has won the last nine meetings in a row, with the last loss coming during the 2000 season (1-0 at Western Illinois).

? Western Illinois Head Coach Holly Van Vlymen served as Iowa’s pitching coach from 2001-04.

Last Time Out ? Penn State swept Iowa in a Saturday doubleheader last weekend. The Hawkeyes fell by 1-0 and 2-1 margins.

Weil Sets Record ? Senior Brittany Weil became Iowa’s all-time strikeout leader April 4, when she struck out Penn State’s Christan Crivellaro with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning. Weil tied Lisa Birroci’s all-time K’s record with two strikeouts in the top of the first frame.

Weil, who struck out 11 batters in the record-breaking peformance, now has 955 career K’s.

More in Store For Weil ? Senior Brittany Weil is close to breaking many more records at Iowa.

Weil is just 13 wins away from breaking the all-time wins record at Iowa. She also ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in innings pitched (2nd), complete games (3rd), games pitched (3rd) and shutouts (5th).

Perfection From Weil ? Senior Brittany Weil threw just the third perfect game in Iowa softball history in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Weil had the Illinois hitters fooled on April Fool’s Day, facing the minimum in the thrilling first game of a twin bill. Weil struck out the side in the first and recorded two K’s in the second, third and seventh frames for a total of 13 for the game.

Weil joins former Hawkeye all-American Debbie Bilbao as the only Iowa players to ever throw a perfect game. Bilbao accomplished the feat twice, tossing a perfect game in both the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Weil also shattered Bilbao’s record for most hitless games in a season, as Wednesday’s perfect game was Weil’s third of the season. If Weil manages to toss another hitless game, she will tie Bilbao for the most hitless games in a career.

Watkins Walk-Off ? Freshman catcher Liz Watkins hit her fifth home run of the season in style, smacking a walk-off, solo home run to defeat Illinois in game one of a doubleheader April 1. The home run also secured a perfect game for pitcher Brittany Weil.

Watkins followed in game two with a towering, three-run shot to center, improving her team-best home run tally to six.

Going Deep ? Iowa’s second game against the Fighting Illini April 1 marked the first time this season Iowa has hit three home runs in a game.

Freshman Liz Watkins, junior Katie Brown and senior Quinn Morelock each had a home run in the contest.

Tops in the Conference ? Iowa’s offense is starting to put up some impressive numbers.

The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten in runs scored (183) and hits (294) and third in both team batting average (.292) and RBI (159).

Closing in on History ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is just 12 wins away from becoming the second-winningest coach in Division I history.

Blevins, who recently picked up her 1,200th career win March 17 against Stetson, trails former Florida State Head Coach JoAnne Graf for second place by 12 wins. Blevins’ record currently has 1,207 wins. Graf retired after a 24-year career at Florida State, recording 1,218 victories.

Never Off the Field ? Six Hawkeyes have played in all 38 games this season, while four players have started every game.

Erin Riemersma, Colleen McGlaughlin, Sam Heinzman and Katie Brown have started every game in 2009. Katie Keim has played in all 38 games with 35 starts while Taylor Leichsenring has 36 starts in 38 games played.

Call Her Clutch ? Senior Sam Heinzman has delievered for Iowa in some important situations this season.

The Omaha, NE, native drove in the game-winning run in extra innings against Kent State with a sacrifice fly. Heinzman’s walk-off RBI also gave Brittany Weil her first-career no-hitter.

Heinzman collected the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the eighth against UCLA, before Iowa gave up the late lead in the bottom of the frame.

Against Cal State Fullerton, Heinzman tallied a triple and scored the game-tying run, forcing extra innings. She also knocked in the game-winning run in the 10th inning against the Titans.

Senior Stepping Up ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin has come through with some big hits for Iowa this season.

Against Long Island, McGlaughlin delivered a one-out grand slam in the third to help Iowa claw back from an early 3-0 deficit. McGlaughlin’s home run gave Iowa a 4-3 lead that it never relinquished, winning by a 6-3 margin.

McGlaughlin gave Iowa a comfortable 3-0 lead in extra innings at Bethune-Cookman. After seven scoreless innings, Iowa managed to plate two runs before McGlaughlin drove in the third run of the eighth inning.

Iowa once again relied on McGlaughlin for a game-winning hit, this time at Central Florida in an extra-inning marathon. With the game tied at 1-1 in the top of the 11th, McGlaughlin hit an RBI single to plate the eventual game-winning run.

McGlaughlin also drove in the game-tying run in the sixth at Illinois State with an RBI single to left.

Weil No-Hitters ? Senior Brittany Weil became just the second player in Iowa school history to throw two no-hitters in a single season after her five-inning no-hit performance at Kennesaw State Feb. 22.

Weil’s first-career no-hitter came in an eight-inning game against Kent State Feb. 13.

Zust Tosses First No-Hitter ? Junior Amanda Zust threw her first career no-hitter in Iowa’s 15-0, five-inning win over South Dakota March 22.

Zust dominated the Coyote offense, allowing only two walks, both of which were in the first inning. She then retired the final 13 batters in order with seven strikeouts.

This season marks the first time in school history that the Hawkeyes have tossed three no-hitters in a single season. Senior Brittany Weil threw no-hitters against Kent State and Kennesaw State earlier this season.

Scoreless Streak Snapped ? UCLA’s two-run, walk-off home run ended Iowa’s opponent scoreless streak at 51 innings, which is the second-longest shutout stretch in school history.

The longest opponent scoreless streak is 82 innings, which Iowa accomplished during the 1992 season.

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.

Tough Schedule in `09 ? Iowa is scheduled to face 16 teams that were selected for the NCAA Tournament in 2008, including four super-regional teams and the defending national champion.

Central Florida, Texas, Stephen F. Austin, Kent State, Michigan, Chattanooga, Florida State, Long Beach State, Northwestern, Western Illinois, Drake, Arizona State, Long Island, Purdue, Cal State Fullerton and UCLA all played in a regional. Michigan, Northwestern, Arizona State and UCLA all advanced to super regional action and Arizona State was the 2008 NCAA national champion.

Road Warriors ? Iowa played its first 29 games on the road this season. The Hawkeyes opened the home portion of its schedule March 22 with a doubleheader sweep over South Dakota.

The Hawkeyes went 24-5 in the first 29 games of the season.

New Field, Same Location ? Pearl Field, Iowa’s home facility, received a major facelift after the Floods of 2008.

Pearl Field was gutted and re-built, 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.

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