Feb. 17, 2010
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The University of Iowa softball team travels to Tempe, AZ this weekend to compete in the Littlewood Classic. The Hawkeyes will face Texas State, Rutgers and Illinois State before battling fifth-ranked and tournament host Arizona State. Below is Iowa’s tournament schedule. All times listed are central.
Friday, Feb. 19
vs. Texas State 10:30 a.m.
vs. Rutgers 1 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20
vs. Illinois State 3:30 p.m.
at Arizona State 8 p.m.
HAWKEYES AT LITTLEWOOD CLASSIC
Iowa finished 4-1 last season at the Littlewood Classic. The Hawkeyes opened play with a 4-1 win over Idaho State. Iowa followed by collecting a 1-0, eight-inning win over Kent State. The Hawkeyes then posted a 6-2 victory over Illinois State before falling to tournament host and then-No. 3 ranked Arizona State, 5-2. The Hawkeyes wrapped up the tournament with an 8-0, six-inning win over Tennessee-Chattanooga.
HAWKEYES ON THE WEB
Fans that can’t make it to Tempe, AZ 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.
BANG FOR THE BUCK
Senior Katie Brown has made the most of her two hits this season. Both of Brown’s base-knocks have been round trippers, including a game-tying blast leading off the bottom of the seventh in Iowa’s comeback win over Drake (Feb. 13). Brown’s offensive contributions also include a sac fly and a team-best four RBI.
LINDSEY AT THE BAT
Junior Lindsey Digmann has hit safely in four of Iowa’s five games this season. The Marion, IA native leads the Hawkeyes with seven hits, the third highest total in the Big Ten. She hit .412 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases at last weekend’s Metrodome Tournament.
Amanda Zust has earned one win and one save in the circle this season.
A LITTLE BIT OF THIS, A LITTLE BIT OF THAT
Pitcher Amanda Zust appeared in all five games of the Metrodome Tournament last weekend. The senior earned a win against Drake (2/14), suffered a loss against Arkansas (2/12) and picked up a save against Western Illinois (2/12). Zust allowed three runs in the opening frame vs. Drake before settling down and pitching six scoreless frames as Iowa rallied for a 7-3 win. She relieved freshman Chelsea Lyon with two on in the seventh inning vs. Western Illinois before striking out the final two batters to preserve the Hawkeyes’ 2-1 victory.
Sophomore Liz Watkins played in 56 games last season without recording a single three-base hit. Apparently eager to avoid repeating such a feat, the Taylor Ridge, IL native banged out two triples in last weekend’s Metrodome Tournament and now currently leads the Big Ten in three-baggers.
ROOKIE START, VETERAN EFFORT
After dropping the season-opener for the first time in five seasons, freshman Chelsea Lyon pitched Iowa to its first `W’ of 2010 with a veteran performance. In her collegiate debut, Lyon allowed just five hits in six-plus innings while collecting the win in the Hawkeyes’ 2-1 victory over Western Illinois.
OPPONENTS IN THE POLLS
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.
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.
SHUFFLING THE DECK
The Hawkeyes are moving around the diamond in 2010. Lindsey Digmann has moved from left field to third base. Katie Keim has rotated around the diamond, moving from third base to shortstop, while Katie Brown saw action on the mound and at first base during the Hawkeyes’ opening weekend.
Katie Brown’s homerun leading off the bottom of the seventh sparked Iowa’s 3-2 win over Drake.
NOW BATTING FOR IOWA
The Hawkeyes welcome eight newcomers to the 2010 roster. Juniors Stephanie Ochoa and Sarah Spiering hit campus after two celebrated careers at the Junior College level. The Hawkeyes have six freshmen on this year’s roster, including Iowa natives Ashley Akers, Johnnie Dowling, Sam Valentine and Ashley Vanderloo. Oklahoma native Chelsea Lyon and Oregon native Jordan Goschie round out the freshmen class.
METRODOME ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
Juniors Chelsey Carmody and Jenny Schuelke were named to the all-tournament team at last weekend’s Metrodome Tournament. Carmody batted .400 with a homerun and a pair of RBI while Schuelke hit .385 and belted the game-winning homerun in Iowa’s 2-1 victory over Western Illinois.
RETURNING AWARD WINNERS
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.