Iowa Softball Hits The Big Ten Road

April 9, 2009

On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team travels to West Lafayette, IN, for single games Saturday and Sunday against the Purdue Boilermakers. Both games will start at 1 p.m. (CT).

Hawkeyes on the Web ? Gametracker links for all Iowa games can be found on 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 (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 Softball Top 25.

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

Arizona State (5th/8th), Northwestern (6th/5th), Michigan (8th/6th), UCLA (9th/7th), Ohio State (16th/14th), Texas (20th/20th) and Florida State (21st/RV) are all ranked.

In addition, Illinos and Northern Iowa are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, while Florida State and Northern Iowa are receiving votes in the Softball Top 25.

Scouting Purdue ? The Purdue Boilermakers are 18-12 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play.

Liane Horiuchi leads the Boilermaker offense with a .400 batting average and is a perfect 30-30 in stolen bases. She has seven doubles, four triples and three home runs. Candace Curtis is batting .333 with a team-best 18 RBI.

Suzie Rzegocki has tossed 148.2 of Purdue’s 205.2 innings, and leads the team in ERA (1.37), complete games (16), shutouts (4) and strikeouts (123). She has allowed 101 hits and given up 29 earned runs with 52 walks.

Iowa vs. Purdue Notes

? Iowa leads the all-time series, 34-5. The Hawkeyes have won seven of the last nine contests, with the only losses during that stretch coming in 2005 (1-2) and in the 2007 Big Ten Tournament (1-4).

? Iowa and Purdue share three common non-conference opponents in UCLA, Florida State and Miami (OH). Both teams defeated Miami (OH (Iowa, 5-0; Purdue, 2-0). Purdue knocked off UCLA to open the season, 2-1, but Iowa was defeated in eight innings by the identical score. Both teams dropped contests against the Seminoles (Iowa, 6-0; Purdue, 8-0).

? Purdue Assistant Coach Boo Gillette was a catcher at Wisconsin from 2003-06. Iowa was 6-3 against the Badgers during that time period.

? Iowa junior Heidi Daumen’s sister, Gretchen Daumen, is Purdue’s Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer. Gretchen Daumen also served as Iowa’s Student Athletic Trainer during the 2007 season.

Last Time Out ? Iowa defeated Western Illinois, 9-1, in six innings, Wednesday afternoon in Macomb, IL.

Big Day For Carmody ? Sophomore Chelsey Carmody had a big game Wednesday at Western Illinois, going 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI.

Carmody drove in two runs with a double in the third inning, then drove in another two runs in the fourth with another double.

Pitchers Rank High Nationally ? Iowa’s pitching staff of senior Brittany Weil and junior Amanda Zust rank very high in some national statistics.

Heading into this week, Iowa ranks eighth nationally in earned run average (1.20). Individually, Weil ranks eighth in saves (3), ninth in strikeouts (211), 10th in shutouts (8), 14th in strikeouts per seven innings (10) and 17th in earned run average (1.10).

Zust has the 27th-most victories in the country (15) and also ranks 33rd in earned run average (1.33).

Gold Gloves ? The Hawkeye defense has played solid all season, and it shows in the NCAA statistics.

Iowa’s .976 team fielding percentage is the fifth-best number in the entire country. The Hawkeyes have two starters (Lindsey Digmann and Sam Heinzman) with a perfect. 1.000 fielding percentage, while Liz Watkins and Katie Brown have only committed one error.

As a team, Iowa has 809 putouts, 280 assists and only 29 errors.

RBI Machine ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin not only leads the Hawkeyes in RBI, her 36 runs driven in also leads the Big Ten Conference.

Lucky Numbers 3 & 4 ? Iowa has scored73 of its 200 runs this season in the third and fourth innings, and are stretching its leads during the middle innings.

The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 36-4 in the third inning and 37-3 in the fourth for a combined total of 73-7 during the two-inning stretch.

Holding Leads ? If Iowa manages to gain a lead during the middle-to-late innings, chances are it will hold on for the win.

Iowa is 21-0 when leading after three innings, 24-0 after four and 20-0 after five. Iowa is also 16-1 when leading after six frames, with the lone loss coming against Stetson (6-5, March 15).

Scoring Early ? The Hawkeyes have scored in their first at-bat 14 times, and hold a perfect 14-0 record when plating a run in the first inning.

In addition, Iowa is 26-3 when scoring before its opponent.

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 (200) and hits (317) and second in both team batting average (.297) and RBI (173).

Closing in on History ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is just 10 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 1,209 wins. Graf retired after a 24-year career at Florida State, recording 1,218 victories.

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 962 career K’s.

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.

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.

Call Her Clutch ? Senior Sam Heinzman has delivered 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.

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.

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