Hawkeyes Set To Face Second-Straight Ranked Opponent

May 4, 2010

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The University of Iowa softball team (23-19, 8-5) hits the road Wednesday for a doubleheader at No. 17 Illinois (37-5, 10-2). Game one of the twin bill is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Fans can can catch both games of the doubleheader on bigtennetwork.com. There is a $2.99 fee per game.

On Your Radio
Both games of Wednesday’s doubleheader can be heard live on AM-800 KXIC. Rob Brooks, fresh off an MLB Network broadcast, will call the action.

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 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 Illinois
The 17th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini are 37-5 overall and 10-2 in Big Ten play. As a team, Illinois is batting .326 with 49 home runs and 257 RBI. The Fighting Illini pithching staff has an impressive ERA of 1.85.

Three Fighting Illini players are batting over .400. Hope Howell leads the team with a .427 average while Danielle Zymkowitz is batting .415 and is 33-34 in stolen bases. Meredith Hackett is the team’s power hitter, batting .408 with 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 46 RBI. She has a .776 slugging percentage and a .500 on base percentage.

Pepper Gay and Monica Perry have split time in the circle. Gay is 13-1 in 24 apperances with a 1.51 ERA. She has 85 strikeouts to 44 walks. Perry is 20-4 in 28 apperances with a 2.28 ERA. She has 141 strikeouts to 40 walks.

Series Notes
? Iowa leads the all-time series, 15-6. The Hawkeyes have won the previous eight meetings.

? Wednesday marks only the second time since 2006 the Hawkeyes have played Illinois in Champaign. Iowa swept a pair of games at Illinois in 2008 (5-2, 12-6) and 2006 (9-0, 7-4).

Returning to the Scene of Greatness
Senior Katie Brown had a Ruthian-type performance in her only other trip to Eichelberger Field.

As a sophomore in 2008, Brown went a combined 5-for-6 (.833) with three home runs, one double, six RBI and four runs scored in a two-game sweep of the Fighting Illini to close the regular season.

Brown went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and two RBI in game one and followed with a perfect 3-for-3 outing in game two, including two home runs and four RBI.

Brown was named Big Ten Player of the Week for her efforts that weekend.

Keim On a Tear
Sophomore Katie Keim is starting to heat up at the plate, recording eight hits in Iowa’s last four games.

Keim is batting .615 (8-for-13) over the four-game stretch, including a double and her first-career triple. She has also scored two runs, drawn a walk and stole a base.

Keim has also been solid in the field during her hitting streak, recording seven putouts and 10 assists without comitting an error.

Taking One For the Team
Sophomore Liz Watkins had only one official at-bat in State College April 24-25, but reached base plenty of times.

Watkins was hit by a pitch in four-straight plate appearances to start the weekend, upping her team-leading total to nine HBP’s. Watkins went 1-for-1 on the weekend with a sacrifice fly.

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

Senior Lindsey Digmann leads the team with a .350 batting average and 48 hits while Chelsey Carmody is second in both categories (.341 average, 46 hits). Digmann and Carmody are also tied for the team lead in runs scored at 24.

Carmody has a team-best seven home runs, with Watkins and senior Katie Brown in the race with five. Brown has a team-high 27 RBI and Carmody is in second with 26.