Hawkeyes To Take On Hoosiers

April 23, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team travels to Bloomington, IN, for a two-game series with the Indiana Hoosiers. Saturday’s game will start at 1 p.m., while Sunday’s matchup is slated for a noon start. Both times listed are central.

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. Jerry Kiwala will handle the play-by-play.

Iowa in the Polls ? The Hawkeyes are currently ranked 24th in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and 25th 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 (2nd/2nd), Arizona State (4th/8th), Michigan (9th/6th), Northwestern (11th/7th), Ohio State (14th/12th), Florida State (18th/24th) and Texas (25th/23rd) are all ranked.

Scouting Indiana ? The Indiana Hoosiers are 9-32 overall and 3-9 in Big Ten play.

Emily Bergeson leads the Hoosier attack, batting .323 with a a team-high six home runs and 21 RBI. Kelsey Stander has a team-best 12 stolen bases.

Sara Olsen has thrown 125 innings, with a 6-10 record and a 2.91 ERA. She leads the team with 75 strikeouts, and also has 34 walks. Ashley Hobbs is 3-12 with a 4.17 ERA in 95.2 innings pitched.

Iowa vs. Indiana Notes
? Iowa leads the all-time series, 53-31-1. Indiana has won four of the last seven meetings, dating back to the 2006 season.

? Iowa Head Coach Gayle Blevins started her successful coaching career at Indiana. Blevins coached the Hoosiers from 1980-87 and compiled a 301-146 record. She led Indiana to the Women’s College World Series three times.

? Iowa assistant coach Diane Stephenson replaced Blevins as head coach at Indiana in 1987, and held the position until 2002. She was named both the Big Ten and Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1996 while at Indiana. Stephenson also was an assistant under Blevins at Indiana from 1983-87.

? Current Indiana assistant coach Christy Hebert lettered at Iowa from 1994-97. She was a two-time all-American at shortstop for the Hawkeyes. Hebert was also the head coach at Northern Iowa from 2002-08.

? Indiana sophomore pitcher Sara Olsen and Iowa senior shortstop Erin Riemersma are both from Orland Park, IL, and both attended Carl Sandburg High School.

Last Time Out ? Iowa knocked off Northern Iowa, 5-3 Tuesday in Cedar Falls.

Northern Iowa jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Colleen McGlaughlin tied the score with a towering solo home run over the right field fence in the third inning.

Iowa fought back from a two-run deficit in the fourth to regain the lead. Senior Sam Heinzman started things with a single and was sacrificed to second by sophomore Chelsey Carmody. McGlaughlin’s bat stayed hot, recording an infield single to put runners on first and second for freshman Liz Watkins, who cleared the bases with a three-run home run to right, tying the score at five. Iowa tacked on one more run with an RBI single from senior Erin Riemersma.

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 1,013 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 – 1,013 K’s

Weil Tops Another Mark ? Senior pitcher Brittany Weil has now thrown more innings than any other pitcher in Hawkeye history.

Weil, who has thrown 189.2 innings this season, holds Iowa’s career mark for innings pitched with 952.1.

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 105 of Iowa’s 204 RBI, 19 of its 29 home runs and 30 of its 53 doubles.

Tops in the Big Ten ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin not only leads the Hawkeyes in RBI, her 42 runs driven in also tied for the Big Ten lead with Northwestern’s Adrienne Monka.

McGlaughlin is also tied for the conference lead in hits (54) with Illinois’ Danielle Zymkowitz and Northwestern’s Tammy Williams.

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.

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 the NCAA stats released April 20, Iowa ranks eighth nationally in earned run average (1.32). Individually, Weil ranks eighth in strikeouts (263), and shutouts (11), 14th in ERA (1.09), 13th in saves (3), and strikeouts per seven innings (9.9) and 25th in victories (19).

In addition, the Hawkeye staff leads the Big Ten in opposing batting average (.158) and wins (36). 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 .972 team fielding percentage is the 20th-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 81 of its 234 runs this season in the third and fourth innings, and are stretching its leads during the middle innings.

The Hawkeyes are outscoring their opponents 38-12 in the third inning and 43-7 in the fourth for a combined total of 81-19 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 24-0 after five. Iowa is also 19-1 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 five 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 four wins. Blevins’ currently has 1,214 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.

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