Hawkeyes Travel To No. 10 Northwestern

April 14, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team travels to Evanston, IL, Wednesday for a mid-week doubleheader against No. 10 Northwestern. Game one is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Hawkeyes on TV ? Both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network (HD). Lisa Cornwell and Heather Lyke will call the action.

Hawkeyes on the Radio ? Game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be aired live on AM-800 KXIC. Rob Brooks will handle the play-by-play.

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 currently ranked 23rd in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls.

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.

UCLA (3rd/3rd), Arizona State (5th/8th), Michigan (8th/5th), Northwestern (10th/7th), Ohio State (T-15th/13th), Florida State (19th/RV) and Texas (RV/24th) are all ranked.

In addition, Minnesota and Illinois are receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.

Scouting Northwestern ? The 10th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats are 23-8 overall and are tied for first in the Big Ten with a 9-1 conference mark.

Tammy Williams leads the Wildcat offense, batting .480 and is tied for the team lead with 10 home runs. Erin Dyer has a team-best 32 RBI. As a team, Northwestern is batting .300 with 52 home runs and a .544 team slugging percentage.

Lauren Delaney has thrown all but 13 innings for Northwestern this season. She is 22-7 with a 1.95 earned run average. She has 235 strikeouts to 99 walks. Delaney has also hit 32 batters and has 27 wild pitches.

Iowa vs. Northwestern Notes

? Northwestern leads the all-time series, 47-42. Northwestern has won seven of the past 10 games. The last time Iowa swept the Wildcats during a season was 2004.

? Northwestern and Iowa share four common opponents; UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Arizona State and Long Island. Both teams were defeated by UCLA (Iowa, 2-1 in eight innings, Northwestern, 16-10) and Arizona State (Iowa, 5-2, Northwestern, 5-4). Both teams knocked off Cal State Fullerton (Iowa, 3-1 in 10 innings, Northwestern, 8-2) and Long Island (Iowa, 6-3, Northwestern, 11-0 in five innings).

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

? Iowa senior pitcher Brittany Weil and Northwestern sophomore Jordan Wheeler are both from Garden Grove, CA. Weil attended Pacifica High School, while Wheeler went to Los Almitos High School.

Last Time Out ? Iowa won a two-game series at Purdue, knocking off the Boilermakers 3-0 Saturday and 4-0 Sunday.

Weil Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week ? Iowa senior pitcher Brittany Weil was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week April 13 for her efforts in Iowa’s four wins during the week. This is the second time this season and seventh time in her career Weil has been given the award.

Weil threw her fourth hitless game of the season Sunday, tossing a no-hitter in a 4-0 win at Purdue. Weil struck out seven batters and allowed only four baserunners in the seven-inning contest, hitting a batter in the second, walking two in the fourth and one in the sixth.

In game one against the Boilermakers Saturday, Weil tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts in the win. She had a perfect game through 5.1 innings before a dropped third strike gave Purdue its first baserunner. She still had a no-hitter after the fifth, but a Boilermaker infield single to start the bottom of the sixth ended the no-hit bid. In the fifth, Weil managed to strike out four batters after the dropped third strike.

During the two-game series at Purdue, Weil threw all 14 innings, giving up only the one hit with 20 strikeouts and three walks. She limited Purdue to just a .024 batting average.

Weil threw a complete game, two-hitter against Western Illinois last Wednesday. She had six strikeouts and no walks.

Weil also entered Iowa’s game against Iowa State last Tuesday in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and only one out in the seventh, recording a fly ball and a strike out to preserve the win.

For the week, Weil was 3-0 (all complete games), with a 0.00 ERA in 20.2 innings of work. She gave up just three hits, while striking out 27 batters to just three walks. She limited her opponents to a slim .045 batting average.

Weil has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week more than any other player to pitch at Iowa. Last season, Weil became the first Iowa player to garner the award four times in a single season.

Weil Ties Another Record ? Brittany Weil also tied former Hawkeye all-American Debbie Bilbao’s record for most hitless games in a career.

Weil and Bilbao have both thrown four hitless games, with Weil’s all coming this season. She threw her first career no-hitter against Kent State (Feb. 13), her second at Kennesaw State (Feb. 22) and her first perfect game against Illinois (April 1). Bilbao threw one no-hitter in 1995, a no-hitter and a perfect game in 1997 and a no-hitter in 1998.

Big Time for Brown ? Junior Katie Brown led Iowa, offensively, last week with some impressive numbers.

Brown batted .500 (6-12) with one home run, two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. The Spirit Lake, IA, native also recorded a .917 slugging percentage and a .571 on base percentage.

Power with the Bases Packed ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin must like the looks of things when the bases are loaded.

McGlauglhin is batting .833 (5-6) when she is at bat with the bases full of Hawkeyes.

RBI Machine ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin not only leads the Hawkeyes in RBI, her 38 runs driven in also leads the Big Ten Conference.

In addition, 13 of her 38 RBI have come with two outs in the inning.

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 third nationally in earned run average (1.11). Individually, Weil ranks eighth in strikeouts (238), tied for eighth in shutouts (10), ninth in ERA (0.96), tied for 10th in saves (3), 14th in strikeouts per seven innings (9.9) and tied for 24th in victories (17).

Zust also ranks 30th in earned run average (1.32).

In addition, the Hawkeye staff leads the Big Ten in earned run average (1.11), opposing batting average (.151) and wins (33). Individually, senior Brittany Weil ranks in the top four in five different categories, while junior Amanda Zust ranks in the top 9 in four categories.

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

Iowa’s .974 team fielding percentage is tied for 11-best in the entire country. The Hawkeyes have two starters (Lindsey Digmann and Sam Heinzman) with a perfect. 1.000 fielding percentage.

As a team, Iowa has 851 putouts, 292 assists and only 30 errors.

Lucky Numbers 3 & 4 ? Iowa has scored 75 of its 207 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 39-3 in the fourth for a combined total of 75-7 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 22-0 when leading after three innings, 26-0 after four and 22-0 after five. Iowa is also 18-1 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 28-3 when scoring before its opponent.

Closing in on History ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is just eight 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 seven wins. Blevins’ record currently has 1,11 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, who struck out 11 batters in the record-breaking peformance, now has 962 career K’s.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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