Hawkeyes Wrap Up Regular Season at Home

May 7, 2009

IOWA CITY – On Deck ? The University of Iowa softball team wraps up the regular season this weekend against Minnesota. The two teams will play Friday under the lights at 6 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. game Saturday.

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

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. This Week’s Promotions ? Friday will be “Tailgate Night,” with the concession stand grill preparing food before the game. Koozies, black rally towels, mini-helmets and the final set of trading cards will be handed out. The Most Valuable Teacher Award will be given to former Hawkeye punter Andy Fenstermaker, and there will also be an ice cream social following the game.

Saturday is Iowa’s annual “Strike Out Cancer” event. Pink poms will be handed out at the gate, and fans are encouraged to wear pink. Saturday will also serve as “Fan Appreciation” day.

One More Time ? Friday will be “Senior Night” at Pearl Field. Iowa’s seven seniors, Quinn Morelock, Rachel West, Brittany Weil, Erin Riemersma, Sam Heinzman, Colleen McGlaughlin and Callie Adreon, will be honored before the game.

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 Minnesota ? The Minnesota Golden Gophers are 23-30 overall and 6-12 in Big Ten play.

Malisa Barnes leads the Minnesota offense, batting .333 with a team-best five home runs and 26 RBI. Colleen Conway is batting .284 and leads the team with eight stolen bases.

Briana Hassett has thrown 295 out of a possible 353.1 innings this season and is 22-23 with a 1.83 earned run average. She leads the Big Ten with 401 strikeouts, and also has 127 walks. Alissa Koch is 1-7 with a 6.12 earned run average and has 40 K’s to 31 walks in 58.1 innings pitched.

Minnesota vs. Iowa Notes ? Iowa leads the all-time series, 49-37. The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six meetings, dating back to 2005. Last season, the teams split a doubleheader, with Iowa winning the first contest, 2-0, but falling 1-0 in 13 innings.

? Iowa and Minnesota share three common non-conference opponents; Western Illinois, Drake and Cal State Fullerton. Iowa defeated Western Illinois (9-1) and Cal State Fullerton (3-1), but fell to Drake (1-0). Minnesota defeated Cal State Fullerton (3-0), but dropped two games to Western Illinois (6-3, 11-3) and one game to Drake (2-1).

Last Time Out ? Iowa swept Wisconsin in a doubleheader Wednesday, 8-0 in five innings and 5-4 in nine innings.

Closing in on History ? With Iowa’s two wins Wednesday, Head Coach Gayle Blevins is now tied for second place on the NCAA softball all-time wins list.

Blevins, who recently picked up her 1,200th career win March 17 against Stetson, tied former Florida State Head Coach JoAnne Graf for second place. Both coaches have 1,218 wins. Graf retired after a 24-year career at Florida State, recording 1,218 victories.

Iowa’s next win will put Blevins alone in second place on the NCAA softball all-time wins list. Fresno State Head Coach Margie Wright is in first place with 1,340 wins.

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

Weil currently has 308 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.

Another No-No ? Senior Brittany Weil tossed yet another no-hitter Wednesday, bringing her single-season and career total to five hitless games.

Weil now holds both the Iowa single-season and career record for hitless games, breaking former Hawkeye all-American Debbie Bilbao’s marks. Weil 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). She followed with another no-hitter at Purdue (April 12), and her fifth of the season against Wisconsin (May 6).

Bilbao threw one no-hitter in 1995, a no-hitter and a perfect game in 1997 and a no-hitter in 1998.

McGlaughlin Delivers ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin gave Iowa a thrilling win in game two against Wisconsin Wednesday, knocking a walk-off, solo home run over the left field fence for a 5-4 victory.

McGlaughlin leads the team with 10 home runs and is tied for the Big Ten lead with 49 RBI.

Flare For the Dramatics ? Iowa has won four games this season in walk-off fashion.

Senior Sam Heinzman hit a sacrifice fly against Kent State (Feb. 13) to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Freshman Liz Watkins hit a walk-off, solo home run in the bottom of the seventh against Illinois (April 1), and freshman Mizzy Mazur slapped a single through the left side against Michigan State (April 18) in the 10th inning.

The latest walkoff was against Wisconsin (May 6), when senior Colleen McGlaughlin gave Iowa a 5-4 win with a solo home run in the ninth inning.

Hot Bats ? Four Hawkeyes batted .500 or better against Wisconsin Wednesday night.

Freshman Katie Keim, who had been hitless in her last three games, went 3-for-5 (.600) with two RBI. Sophomore Chelsey Carmody recorded four hits in eight at-bats (.500) with one double, one triple and one RBI. Junior Lindsey Digmann went 3-for-6 (.500) with a triple and two runs scored. Freshman Liz Watkins added a 2-for-4 performance (.500) with one home run, her first career triple and five RBI.

Impressive Freshman ? Liz Watkins is closing in on two freshman records at Iowa.

Watkins is currently ranked second in home runs (9) and RBI (45) among freshman at Iowa. Emily Nichols holds both records with 16 home runs, which is also the Iowa single-season record, along with 49 RBI.

McGlaughlin Climbing ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin’s 10 home runs and 49 RBI rank are tied for third on Iowa’s single-season lists.

Emily Nichols holds the top two single season home run marks, at 16 and 12, respectively.

Christy Hebert is second with 50 RBI, while Debbie Bilbao is first with 61 runs driven in.

Infield…Same ? Iowa has used the same defensive lineup in the infield for 36-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 26-10 over that 34-game stretch.

Reaching 40 Wins ? With Iowa’s sweep against Wisconsin May 6, the Hawkeyes have reached the 40-win mark for the 13th time in school history.

Iowa has qualified for NCAA Regional play in 10 of the 12 seasons it has reached the 40-win mark. The only two seasons Iowa did not make the NCAA Tournament after 40 wins were 1990 (43-28 record) and 1999 (42-26-1 record).

Iowa ended the 1995 season with 41 wins, but only had 36 heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes won three games to qualify for the College World Series, where they won two more games and finished third in the nation.

Not Too Bad With the Books ? Senior Colleen McGlaughlin has been named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic all-District first team. McGlaughlin will now be on the national ballot for academic all-America consideration.

McGlaughlin, who was selected at the designated player position, is an actuarial science major and carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

As a junior last season, McGlaughlin was one of 11 Division I softball students nationally to be named first team Academic all-American. She was also an academic all-district pick as a sophomore and junior.

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 ninth nationally in earned run average (1.41). Individually, Weil ranks ninth in strikeouts (296) and shutouts (11), 13th in ERA (1.15) and strikeouts per seven innings (9.7), 23rd in saves (3) and 25 in victories (22).

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

Iowa’s .972 team fielding percentage is the 19th-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. 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 26-1 when leading after three innings, 30-1 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 32-5 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.

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 1,052 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 – 1,052 K’s
8. Courtnay Foster – Northwestern – 1,014 K’s

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.

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

Selection Show Reminder ? The NCAA Division I Softball Tournament Selection Show will air at 9 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU.

All 64 teams, including the top 16 national seeds, and regional locations, will be revealed during the selection show.

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