Hawkeyes Head To Northern Iowa

April 20, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team travels to Cedar Falls, IA, Tuesday to take on intra-state rival Northern Iowa. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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 Northern Iowa ? The Northern Iowa Panthers are 30-16 overall and 12-8 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Megan Machovec leads the team with a .376 batting average. Rachel Gerking is close behind, with a .335 batting average. Gerking leads the team with 46 RBI, while Kelly Papesh has a team-best 12 home runs. Samantha Waters has swiped a team-high 12 bases.

Jen Larsen has thrown 174.2 innings and is 17-8 with a 1.68 earned run average. She also leads the team with 64 strikeouts, but has walked 55 batters. Melissa Tillett is 5-7 with a 3.55 earned run average in 88.2 innings pitched. She has 61 strikeouts to 41 walks.

Iowa vs. Northern Iowa Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 25-14. The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four meetings, with their last loss coming during the 2003 season (9-7). Iowa has won three in a row against UNI, with wins in 2004 (4-3), 2006 (11-0 in five innings) and 2008 (5-4). The teams did not meet during the 2005 or 2007 seasons.

? Iowa junior Lindsey Digmann, along with UNI freshmen Hannah Borschel and Jaye Hutcheson are from Marion, IA, and attended Linn-Mar High School. Borschel is the younger sister of Iowa all-American wrestler Jay Borschel.

? Iowa’s Katie Brown and UNI’s Rachel Gerking were classmates at Spirit Lake High School and both hail from Spirit Lake, IA. The duo led Spirit Lake to a state title in 2004.

? Iowa’s Amanda Zust and UNI’s Samantha Waters were also classmates at Des Moines East High School, and won a state title in 2006.

? Iowa junior Rachel West and UNI freshman Whitney Plein are both from Burlington, IA. West attended Danville High School, while Plein went to Burlington High School.

Last Time Out ? Iowa swept a doubleheader with Michigan State last Saturday, winning game one 8-0 in six innings and game two 4-3 in 10 innings.

Weil Reaches 1,000 K’s ? Iowa senior pitcher Brittany Weil joined a very elite group April 18 against Michigan State, becoming just the eighth pitcher in Big Ten history to record 1,000 career strikeouts.

Weil struck out her 1,000 batter with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth in game two against the Spartans. Weil is also the first Hawkeye to ever reach the 1,000 strikeout plateau, and holds Iowa’s career strikeout record. She currently has 1,007 career K’s.

Below is a list of Big Ten pitchers who belong to to the 1,000 strikeout club.

1. Jennie Ritter – Michigan – 1,205 K’s
2. Lisa Ishikawa – Northwestern – 1,200 K’s
3. Andrea Kirchberg – Wisconsin – 1,156 K’s
4. Eileen Canney – Northwestern – 1,142 K’s
5. Piper Martin – Minnesota – 1,122 K’s
6. Amy Unterbrink – Indiana – 1,089 K’s
7. Courtnay Foster – Northwestern – 1,014 K’s
8. Brittany Weil – Iowa – 1,007 K’s

Walkoff For Mazur ? Freshman Missy Mazur delivered in a key situation for the Hawkeyes against Michigan State, recording a walk-off, RBI single with the bases loaded to plate the winning run In Iowa’s 4-3, 10-inning victory.

Production in the Middle ? Iowa’s typical 3-4-5 hitters are producing some impressive combined numbers.

Senior Colleen McGlaughlin, freshman Liz Watkins and junior Katie Brown have teamed up to record 101 of Iowa’s 199 RBI, 17 of its 27 home runs and 30 of its 52 doubles.

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 41 runs driven in also ranks second in the Big Ten behind Northwestern’s Adrienne Monka (42 RBI).

In addition, 16 of her 41 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.

According to last week’s NCAA stats, 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 opposing batting average (.158), innings pitched (312.2) and wins (35). Weil ranks in the top five in five different individual categories, while Zust ranks in the top 10 in four.

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

Iowa’s .974 team fielding percentage is the 11th-best number in the entire country. The Hawkeyes are led defensively by senior Sam Heinzman, who has not committed an error all season. Junior Lindsey Digmann and freshman Liz Watkins only have one error.

As a team, Iowa has 936 putouts, 316 assists and only 35 errors.

Lucky Numbers 3 & 4 ? Iowa has scored 80 of its 229 runs this season in the third and fourth innings, and are stretching its leads during the middle innings.

The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 37-10 in the third inning and 43-7 in the fourth for a combined total of 80-17 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 23-0 when leading after three innings, 27-0 after four and 23-0 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 14-1 record when plating a run in the first inning. Iowa’s only loss in this situation came at Northwestern (April 15).

In addition, Iowa is 28-4 when scoring before its opponent.

Closing in on History ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is just six 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 five wins. Blevins’ currently has 1,213 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.

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.

Weil Earns Pitcher of the Week Honors ? Brittany Weil has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice this season.

Weil’s first honor came Feb. 23 after her second no-hitter of the season at Kennesaw State. She was given the award again April 13 after she tossed her fourth hitless game this year, this time at Purdue.

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.

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.

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.

Bye-Bye Big Ten Tourney ? This season marks the first time in 15 years there will be no Big Ten Softball Tournament. The conference coaches decided to cancel the tournament after last season.

The first Big Ten Tournament was held in 1982, but the conference didn’t host another postseason tournament until the 1995 season.

Iowa won two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003) and hosted the tournament three times.

SoftBlog ? Senior Erin Riemersma, junior Lindsey Digmann and freshman Liz Watkins will blog for hawkeyesports.com throughout the season. The student-athletes will discuss life on the road and what its like being a softball player at the University of Iowa.

Fans can access the blog on the softball page of hawkeyesports.com.