Wisconsin Up Next For Hawkeyes

May 5, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team hosts Wisconsin in a doubleheader Wednesday. Game One is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at Pearl Field.

Tickets are $3 for adults and free for children 18 and under and UI students.

This Week’s Promotions ? Wednesday night will be “Public Library” night at Pearl Field. Fans can donate a book to get extra entries for door prizes from UI Sports Marketing and the Coralville Public Library.

Also, any children who belong to the Pizza Hut “Book It” program can call the UI Sports Marketing Office at (319) 335-9431 to reserve a free pizza between the games.

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 listed as receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and 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 (3rd/2nd), Michigan (8th/6th), Arizona State (9th/11th), Ohio State (11th/10th), Northwestern (13th/12th) and Florida State (16th/22nd) are all ranked.

In addition, Texas is receiving votes in both polls.

Scouting Wisconsin ? The Wisconsin Badgers are 15-36 overall and in 11th place in the Big Ten with a 3-13 conference mark.

Jennifer Krueger leads the team in hitting, batting .315 with 45 hits. Of those 45 hits, 42 have been singles. She is also 18-23 in stolen bases. Letty Olivarez supples the power in the Badger lineup, leading the team with four home runs and 17 RBI.

Lea Vanevenhoven is 7-13 with a 3.22 earned run average. She has struck out 112 with 78 walks in 145.2 innings pitched. Olivarez also pitches, and is 8-22 with a 3.47 earned run average. She leads the team with 132 strikeouts in 179.1 innings pitched.

Wisconsin vs. Iowa Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 23-7. The series has been close since 2005, however, with the series tied at 4-4 over the past four seasons.

? Iowa and Wisconsin share three common opponents; Long Beach State, Drake and Western Illinois. Iowa defeated Long Beach State (3-0) and Western Illinois (9-1 in six innings), but fell at home to Drake (1-0). The Badgers were defeated by Long Beach State twice (7-0, 4-1), and split a two game series with Drake ( W, 4-3, L, 2-1). Wisconsin also defeated Western Illinois (4-2).

Last Time Out ? Iowa dropped both games of a two-game set at No. 8 Michigan, 2-1 and 6-0.

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 18 strikeouts away from breaking Lisa Birocci’s single-season strikeout total at Iowa.

Weil currently has 296 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.

Big Hit for Carmody ? Sophomore Chelsey Carmody has a flare for the dramatics when it comes to hitting home runs.

Carmody roped her first round-tripper of the season to give Iowa a 1-0 lead over No. 8 Michigan last weekend.

In her freshman campaign, Carmody collected her first home run in Black and Gold in style, knocking a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to give Iowa the lead against Missouri in the championship game of the NCAA Regional.

Unfortunately for Iowa, the Hawkeyes lost both games that Carmody has homered in.

Infield…Same ? Iowa has used the same defensive lineup in the infield for 34-straight games.

The Hawkeye defense of junior Katie Brown at first base, sophomore Chelsey Carmody at second base, senior Erin Riemersma at shorstop, freshman Katie Keim at third base and freshman Liz Watkins behind the plate has remained consistent since Iowa’s game against Florida International March 7.

The Hawkeyes are 24-10 over that 34-game stretch.

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 25-1 when leading after three innings, 29-1 after four and 24-0 after five. Iowa is also 19-1 when leading after six frames.

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 31-5 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.

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.

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.

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 Sunday.

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.

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.

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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