Hawkeyes Set To Face No. 8 Michigan

April 30, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The No. 25 ranked University of Iowa softball team travels to No. 8 Michigan for a two-game series. Saturday’s contest will begin at 5 p.m., with Sunday’s matchup at noon. Both times listed are central.

Hawkeyes on the Air ? Saturday’s game at eighth-ranked Michigan will be broadcast 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 as the voice of Iowa softball.

Iowa in the Polls ? The Hawkeyes are currently ranked 25th in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and 23rd the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls.

Opponents in the Polls ? Six 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 (6th/7th), Michigan (T-8th/6th), Ohio State (11th/12th), Northwestern (12th/10th) and Florida State (17th/23rd) are all ranked.

Scouting Michigan ? The No. 8 Michigan Wolverines are 36-9 overall and are tied with Ohio State for the lead in the Big Ten with a 12-2 league mark.

Amanda Chidester leads the Wolverine offense, batting .368 with a team-best 33 RBI. Maggie Viefhaus leads the team with seven home runs. Four Wolverines are batting above .300.

Michigan’s pitching staff comes into the weekend with a 1.08 team ERA. Nikki Nemitz is 21-5 with a 0.75 ERA and has a team-best 246 K’s to just 25 walks. Jordan Taylor is 15-4 with a 1.46 ERA, striking out 202 with just 32 free passes. Nemitz is also an offensive weapon for the Wolverines, batting .277 with six home runs and 26 driven in.

Iowa vs. Michigan Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 52-47-1. The teams have split the two-game regular season series three of the last four years, with Michigan taking both games in 2007.

? Neither team has won a game by more than three runs since 2000, when Michigan won both games by a five-run margin. There have been five one-run contests, five two-run games and three games that were decided by three runs. Two games since 2001 have also gone extra innings.

? The teams share three common non-conference opponents; Long Island, UCLA and Florida State. Both teams defeated Long Island (Iowa, 6-3, Michigan, 4-0). Michigan knocked off UCLA (7-4), but the Hawkeyes fell to the Bruins, 2-1, in eight innings. Iowa was defeated by Florida State (6-0, but Michigan split two games (W, 1-0, L, 6-5).

? Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins served as an assistant at Indiana under Iowa Head Coach Gayle Blevins during the 1981 season. Both coaches are in the NFCA Hall of Fame.

? Two of the winningest coaches in Division I softball will face off this weekend. Entering the 2009 season, Blevins ranked third all-time in wins, while Hutchins ranked fifth.

? Iowa senior Erin Riemersma and Michigan sophomore Nicole Guska are both from Orland Park, IL, and graduated from Carl Sandburg High School. Last Time Out ? The Hawkeyes were knocked off by Drake, 1-0, Wednesday at Pearl Field.

Weil Honored Again ? Senior Brittany Weil has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for her efforts in Iowa’s three wins last week. This is the third time this season and the eighth time in her career Weil has earned the honor.

If Weil manages to receive the award another time this season, she will tie Michigan’s Marissa Young and Northwestern’s Eileen Canney as the only pitchers to receive the honor nine-career times.

Closing in on History ? Head Coach Gayle Blevins is just three 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 two wins. Blevins’ currently has 1,216 wins. Graf retired after a 24-year career at Florida State, recording 1,218 victories.

Weil Approaching K Record ? Senior Brittany Weil is just 26 strikeouts away from breaking Lisa Birocci’s single-season strikeout total at Iowa.

Weil currently has 288 strikeouts this year. She came close last year, recording 296 K’s, which ranks second. Her 269 strikeouts in 2006 also ranks fourth.

Birocci set the single-season strikeout record in 2004 with 313 K’s.

Colleen Cleans Up Indiana ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin put up some eye-popping numbers in Iowa’s two-game series at Indiana last weekend.

McGlaughlin batted .750 (6-8) with two home runs, three doubles, six RBI and four runs scored. She also tallied a gaudy 1.875 slugging percentage and a .750 on base percentage.

Heinzman Heating Up ? Senior Sam Heinzman is starting to swing a hot bat for the Hawkeyes in the No. 9 spot.

Heinzman, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored over the weekend, has recorded a hit in five of her last seven at-bats, dating back to Iowa’s win at Northern Iowa April 21.

Offensive Output ? As a team, Iowa batted .472 (25-53) with three home runs, seven doubles, one triple and 21 RBI against the Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes slugged at .811 and had a .508 on base percentage.

Hawkeyes Tie Doubles Record ? Iowa’s offense tied a school record by hitting six doubles in Saturday’s 12-0, five inning win at Indiana.

Six of Iowa’s 15 hits on the day were doubles. The only other time Iowa hit six doubles in a single game was against Purdue in 1997.

Best in the Big Ten ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin leads the Big Ten in hits (60) and is tied for the lead in RBI (48). She also leads the league with a .455 battting average in conference games only and is tied for the lead in on base percentage (.538).

McGlaughlin Climbing ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin’s 48 RBI rank tied for fourth on Iowa’s single-season RBI list. Emily Nichols is ranked third with 49, while Christy Hebert is second with 50. Debbie Bilbao is first with 61.

In addition, McGlaughlin’s nine home runs ranks tied for fifth on that single-season list, with Alicia Gerlach in third with 10. Nichols holds the top two single season marks, at 16 and 12, respectively.

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 28, Iowa ranks seventh nationally in earned run average (1.32). Individually, Weil ranks eighth in strikeouts (282), strikeouts per seven innings (10), shutouts (11) and earned run average (1.03), 17th in victories (22) and 25th in saves (3).

Gold Gloves ? The Hawkeye defense has played solid all season, and it shows in the NCAA statistics, released April 28.

Iowa’s .971 team fielding percentage is the 21st-best number in the entire country. The Hawkeyes are led defensively by senior Sam Heinzman, who has not committed an error all season. Freshman Liz Watkins has only one error.

As a team, Iowa has 987 putouts, 331 assists and only 38 errors, entering the week.

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 25-0 when leading after three innings, 29-0 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 18 times, and hold a 17-1 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 31-4 when scoring before its opponent.

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 1,032 career 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 203.2 innings this season, holds Iowa’s career mark for innings pitched with 996.1.

And One More For Weil ? 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 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 1,032 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. Brittany Weil – Iowa – 1,032 K’s 8. Courtnay Foster – Northwestern – 1,014 K’s

Weil Earns Pitcher of the Week Honors ? Brittany Weil has been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week three times 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 racked up her third honor April 27 after picking up a win over Northern Iowa and two victories over Indiana.

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 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.

Complete Release in PDF Format