Heading North and Heading Inside

Feb. 11, 2010

The University of Iowa softball team travels to Minneapolis, MN this weekend to compete in the Metrodome Tournament. Below is Iowa’s tournament schedule. All times listed are central.

Friday, Feb. 12
vs. Arkansas 7 p.m.
vs. Western Illinois 9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13
vs. Drake 3 p.m.
vs. Iowa State 5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 14
vs. Drake 11 a.m.

? Iowa is 18-14 all-time in season openers, including a 13-9 mark under Blevins. The Hawkeyes have won five straight season openers.
? Iowa is 1-2 all-time vs. Arkansas. The teams split two games in 2006. Arkansas won the most recent outing, 5-3, in 2007.
? Iowa improved to 23-18 in its all-time series vs. Western Illinois with a 9-1 victory last season in Macomb, IL. The Hawkeyes have won the last nine meetings in the series. WIU last defeated Iowa, 1-0, in 2000.
? Iowa is 31-7 all-time vs. Drake. The Bulldogs have won the last two contests, including a 4-3, 12-inning win in 2008 and a 1-0 win last season.
? The Hawkeyes hold a narrow 30-28-1 all-time series advantage against Iowa State. Iowa has won the last six meetings, including a 7-1 victory last season in Iowa City. The Cyclones have not bested the Hawkeyes since pulling out a 4-3, 12-inning victory in 2003.

Fans who can’t make it to Minneapolis can follow the action at hawkeyesports.com, where live stats (Gametracker) will be available. The “GT” link can be found under the calendar tab on the right-hand side of the hawkeyesports.com home page, or on the softball schedule page.

The Hawkeyes are one of 22 teams listed as receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 preseason poll. The Hawkeyes are receiving 11 votes, one more than conference foe Purdue.

Seven Iowa opponents are ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 preseason polls. Alabama (2/2), Michigan (4/3), Arizona State (5/7), UCLA (8/6), Ohio State (14/16), Georgia Tech (13/14) and Northwestern (15/17) are all ranked. Purdue is receiving votes in both polls.

The Hawkeyes return three of their top four hitters from a year ago. Senior Katie Brown, junior Chelsey Carmody and sophomore Liz Watkins hit .337 collectively in 168 combined games.

Iowa is scheduled to play its first 26 games away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes open the home portion of their schedule with a doubleheader against South Dakota Mar. 20 at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes ran up an impressive 31-13 record outside of Iowa City last season, including a 13-9 mark in true road contests and an 18-4 record in neutral site games.

Sophomore Katie Keim will be Iowa opening day shortstop in 2010.

The Hawkeyes are moving around the diamond in 2010. Lindsey Digmann is moving from left field to third base. Katie Keim is rotating around the diamond, moving from third base to shortstop, while Katie Brown is expected to see some time on the mound in addition to her everyday first base position.

The Hawkeyes welcome five newcomers to the 2010 roster. Juniors Stephanie Ochoa and Sarah Spiering hit campus after two celebrated careers at the Junior College level. Oregon native Jordan Goschie rounds out the freshmen class with Iowa prep standouts Ashley Akers and Johnnie Dowling. The trio combined for nine all-state appearances throughout their high school careers.

Sophomore Liz Watkins was given three awards at the 2009 softball banquet; Most Improved, Coaches and Peg Augspurger Hawkeye Heart award. Sophomore Katie Keim shared the Most Improved award with Watkins. Seniors Katie Brown and Amanda Zust shared the team’s Golden Glove award.

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