Hawkeyes Return To Pearl Field Sunday

April 16, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa softball team (22-14, 8-1) returns to Pearl Field Sunday for a single game against Western Illinois (23-12, 9-0). First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1 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.

First Pitch Guest
University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta will throw out Sunday’s first pitch.

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 Western Illinois
The Western Illinois Leathernecks are 23-12 overall and a perfect 9-0 in Summit League action Western Illinois plays a three-game series in Fargo, ND against North Dakota State Friday and Saturday before traveling to Iowa City.

Beth Golitko leads the team with a .368 batting average and is one of three players with three home runs. Julie DePolo has a team-high 43 hits, while Jamie Goss has driven in a team-best 24 runs.

Two-time Summit League Pitcher of the Year Kamren Ferguson is 13-7 with a 2.01 ERA. Ferguson has gone the distance in 18 of her 20 starts and has 120 strikeouts to just 33 walks. Lori Pankratz is 7-4 with a 1.75 ERA.

Series Notes
? Iowa leads the all-time series, 23-18. Iowa has won the last 10 meetings in a row, with the last loss coming during the 2000 season (1-0 at Western Illinois).

? Western Illinois Head Coach Holly Van Vlymen served as Iowa’s pitching coach from 2001-04.

Last Meeting
Iowa rode the effort of two newcomers en route to its 2-1 win in its second game of the season against Western Illinois. Freshman Chelsea Lyon made her Hawkeye debut on the mound, retiring the first five hitters and allowing just three runners to reach second base in six-plus innings. Lyon surrendered a couple of singles in the seventh inning before giving way to Zust, who, after allowing a RBI single to left, fanned the final two batters to secure the 2-1 victory and earn her first save since 2008.

The Hawkeyes supported their young freshman hurler with three straight singles in the fourth inning, including a run-scoring hit by junior college transfer Stephanie Ochoa. Ochoa’s two-for-three effort at the plate appeared to be all the Hawkeyes would need to support Lyon, but junior Jenny Schuelke knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give Iowa the much needed insurance run. Schuelke’s game-winning knock was her career-high third hit of the ballgame.

Hawkeye Pitchers Wheeling and Dealing
Iowa’s pitching staff has been solid since its Spring Break Trip to Florida.

Over the last 19 games, the Hawkeye pitchers have a combined 1.16 ERA. Freshman Chelsea Lyon and senior Amanda Zust have allowed only 21 earned runs in 126.2 innings of work while recording 75 strikeouts.

Lyon is 6-2 with a sparkling 0.25 ERA during the stretch while Zust is 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA.

Lyon Keeps on Rolling
Freshman Chelsea Lyon has been hot in her last nine apperances.

Lyon is 5-1 and has not allowed an earned run in her last 44.1 innings pitched. She has struck out 18, with five starts and three complete games. She has also limited her opponents to a .189 batting average.

Battle For the Team Lead
Iowa’s offensive balance is evident on the stat sheet.

Sophomore Liz Watkins leads the team with a .362 batting average, but senior Lindsey Digmann trails by just three points (.359). Digmann leads the way with 42 hits while junior Chelsey Carmody is close behind at 40. Watkins, Digmann and Carmody all have scored 20 runs.

Senior Katie Brown has a team best 26 RBI with Carmody and Watkins in second place at 21.

Carmody has a team-high six home runs, with Watkins and Brown close behind at five.

Getting Ground Balls
Iowa’s infield has been very busy over the past seven games.

The Hawkeye infield has recorded a combined 149 putouts and 57 assists with five errors (.976). Iowa’s outfield has only seen 18 chances, with 16 putouts, one assist and one error (.944).

The Hawkeye defensive alignment has stayed the same over the past six games.

The lineup includes Watkins (C), Brown (1B), Digmann (2B), Carmody (SS), Keim (3B), Schuelke (LF), Dowling (CF) and Leichsenring (RF).