Hawkeyes Entertain Northwestern Wednesday

April 6, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa softball team hosts the Northwestern Wildcats in a doubleheader Wednesday night at Pearl Field. Game one first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Admission to Pearl Field is $3 for adults. There is no charge for youth (high school age and younger) or UI students with a valid student ID.

BTN.com First Pitch
Both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be webcast live on bigtennetwork.com for a $2.99 fee. Fans can find the video link next to the Gametracker link on hawkeyesports.com.

Live Audio from Your Computer
You can follow the Hawkeyes from your computer via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will be calling the action live at all home and away events for the remainder of the season. Hawkeye All-Access is a subscription service that charges $9.95 per month.

Hawkeyes on the Web
Fans that can’t make it to Pearl Field for the home opener 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.

Scouting Northwestern
The Northwestern Wildcats are 16-13 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play.

Emily Allard leads the team in batting average (.361), hits (35) and runs scored (22). Adrienne Monka has a team-best nine home runs, while Emily Haug leads the Wildcats with 29 RBI.

Northwestern has used three pitchers in the circle this season. Lauren Delaney has appeared in 20 games with 17 starts and is 8-9 with a 2.97 ERA. She leads the staff with 134 strikeouts and also has 75 walks and has hit 14 batters. Meghan Lamberth is 3-2 in 16 appearances with a 2.88 ERA, while Jessica Smith is 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 11 apperances.

Northwestern’s lineup has remained mostly the same, with seven players starting all 29 contests.

Series Notes
Northwestern leads the all-time series, 49-42. Northwestern has won nine of the past 12 games. The last time Iowa swept the Wildcats during a season was 2004.

Watkins on a Tear
Sophomore Liz Watkins enters Wednesday’s game on a seven-game hitting streak, dating back to Iowa’s doubleheader sweep over South Dakota March 21.

What’s more impressive are the power numbers Watkins has put up over her hitting streak. The sophomore is batting .714 (15-21) with four home runs, four doubles one triple, 11 RBI and 11 runs scored during her hitting streak. Watkins has tallied a 1.571 slugging percentage and a .769 on base percentage over the last seven games.

Watkins has also been impressive defensively, recording 22 putouts and one assist without committing an error in the last seven games.

Lyon Rising to Occasion and Firing it Home
Freshman Chelsea Lyon has been hot in her last six apperances.

Lyon is 4-0 and has not allowed an earned run in her last 30.2 innings pitched. She has struck out 12, with three starts and two complete games. She has also limited her opponents to a .183 batting average.

Digmann…the Runner
Senior Lindsey Digmann is making her way into the Iowa record books.

Digmann has swiped 12 bases this season, upping her career total to 49 swipes. Digmann ranks ninth in career stolen bases at Iowa, trailing Mindy Heidgerken and Kari Knopf for eighth place (61).

Where’s Digs?
Senior Lindsey Digmann has been a fixture in the Iowa lineup, but not in one particular place. After starting the first 24 games at third base, Digs has seen time in left field, center field and as the designated player. She has also bounced around the lineup – hitting leadoff (.341), second (.412) and ninth (.333) in the batting order.

Welcome Home Amanda Zust
Senior Amanda Zust kicked off the 2010 home opener in spectacular fashion March 21. Zust led Iowa to an 8-0 win over South Dakota by pitching her second career no-hitter. She struck out a season-high eight hitters while tossing her 11th complete game.

The Big Ten honored Zust for her efforts by naming the senior Big Ten Pitcher of the Week.

Triple Threat
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 has banged out five triples in 2010.

Diamonds are Forever
Iowa boasts four position players that have started every game this season. Those players include Lindsey Digmann, Jenny Schuelke, Katie Brown and Johnnie Dowling.

Chelsey Carmody, Taylor Leichsenring and Katie Keim have all started 31 games.

Watkins Named co-Big Ten Player of the Week
Sophomore catcher Liz Watkins was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week March 29 for her efforts in Iowa’s two-game sweep at Michigan State.

Watkins batted an impressive .857 (6-7) with one home run, two doubles and three RBI against the Spartans. Watkins also recorded an eye-popping 1.571 slugging percentage and a .875 on-base percentage.

Watkins started the weekend by going 2-for-3 Saturday. She followed with a perfect 4-for-4 outing Sunday, including a solo home run in the first inning. She added the game-winning RBI in the sixth with a line drive to the left field fence.

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.

Michigan (2/3), UCLA (5/5), Arizona State (9/10), Alabama (6/7), Georgia Tech (10/6), Illinois (18/19) and Ohio State (20/22) are all ranked.

The Hawkeyes return three of their top four hitters from 2009. Senior Katie Brown, junior Chelsey Carmody and sophomore Liz Watkins hit .337 collectively in 168 combined games.

Road Warriors
Iowa played its first 25 games of 2010 outside of Iowa City. The Hawkeyes finished 12-12-1 on their road trip across the country. Iowa played in Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, California and Florida before their first scheduled home game.

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.

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.