May 12, 2009
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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team handed out its team awards Sunday at its annual banquet. Head Coach Gayle Blevins presented seven awards, including the team’s Most Valuable Player, which was awarded to senior pitcher Brittany Weil.
Weil spent the 2009 season tearing apart the Hawkeye record books. She broke both the Iowa single-season and career strikeout record, and is currently tied for first place in career wins, complete games and games pitched. She also broke school records for most hitless games in a single season and career, tossing five no-hitters this year. Weil was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week four times in 2009, and is only the third pitcher in Big Ten history to earn the award nine-career times. The Garden Grove, CA, native leads the team in every pitching category, and is 26-10 with a 1.06 ERA. Weil has 328 strikeouts to just 53 walks, and has thrown 25 complete games and 14 shutouts.
Freshman Liz Watkins was given three awards at the banquet; Most Improved, Coaches and Peg Augspurger Hawkeye Heart award. Watkins has started 54 games at catcher, and is batting .331 with nine home runs and 45 RBI. She has also tallied nine doubles, one triple and a .617 slugging percentage this year.
Freshman Katie Keim shared the Most Improved award with Watkins. Keim floated around the Hawkeye infield during the early part of the season, but has started the previous 38 games at third base. She has been solid for Iowa, defensively, at the hot corner, and has one home run, six doubles and 19 RBI.
Senior Colleen McGlaughlin took two awards home Sunday after receiving the Triple Crown and Robert Ray awards. The Hawkeye coaches elected to give McGlaughlin a special award this season in the Triple Crown, after she led the team with a .360 batting average, 10 home runs and 49 RBI during the regular season. The Robert Ray Award is given the most outstanding student-athlete from the University of Iowa. McGlaughlin carries a 4.0 GPA in actuarial science, and was recently named ESPN the Magazine Academic all-District.
Juniors Katie Brown and Amanda Zust shared the team’s Golden Glove award. Brown has started all 56 games at first base, and has only two errors in 340 chances (329 putouts, 11 assists). She went the first 39 games of the campaign without committing an error, and has not committed an error over the previous 12 games.
Zust has only one error in 65 chances (five putouts, 60 assists), and has been impressive, defensively, in the circle for Iowa this season.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday at 4 p.m. (CT), when they face Auburn in opening round action of the NCAA Tournament Atlanta Regional.