May 5, 2011
- 2011 Iowa Softball Media Guide
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone app!
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
The University of Iowa softball team closes out regular season play with a two-game weekend series against Penn State at Pearl Field. Saturday’s opening game is slated to begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday’s finale will start at 1 p.m. The final contest will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
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.
Saturday’s game will be “Tailgate Night” as Culver’s Frozen Custard will be handed out prior to the game. It is also Hawk Talk Daily subscriber appreciation night, and set four of the softball trading cards will be distributed.
Sunday will be Senior Day and Fan Appreciation Day. The Athletics Department will also collect clothes for the NCJC Clothing Drive, so fans are encouraged to bring a clothing donation.
ON THE TUBE
Sunday’s game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. Tom Hart will handle play-by-play duties, while Jennie Ritter will serve as the color commentator.
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
Fans can follow the Hawkeyes online via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will call 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.
ON THE WEB
Fans can follow the action at hawkeyesports.com, where live stats (Gametracker) will be available. The live “GT” can be found under the calendar tab on the right-hand side of the hawkeyesports.com home page, or on the softball schedule page.
FOLLOW IOWA SOFTBALL ON TWITTER
Hawkeye fans can follow the University of Iowa softball team on Twitter: @iowasoftball.
SENIOR DAY FESTIVITIES
Iowa will recognize its three seniors — Chelsey Carmody, Stephanie Ochoa and Jenny Schuelke — on Sunday with a short post game ceremony following the regular season finale against Penn State.
The Hawkeyes dropped a pair of games in Wednesday’s doubleheader to Illinois. The Fighting Illini pounded out 12 hits to claim the opening game, 8-2. Illinois starter Pepper Gay then limited Iowa to a pair of hits in the night cap, as the Illini went on to post a 6-2 victory.
The Nittany Lions enter the weekend having lost four of their last six games to fall to 24-21-1 overall and 6-7-1 in the Big Ten. Last weekend, Penn State won the series against Purdue, claiming the opener, 8-5, before tying the Boilermakers in game two, 0-0. Prior to the April 30 victory, PSU had lost four straight and five-of-six games.
Penn State is batting just .222 as a team and one Nittany Lion is above .300 on the year. Kailyn Johnson is batting .339 to pace the squad to go along with a team-best 27 RBI. Johnson is also tied for the team lead with six long balls with Cassidy Bell.
Two pitchers — Jackie Hill and Lisa Akamine — have shared the work load for the Nittany Lions this season. Hill is 14-11 with a 2.17 ERA with 19 complete games and six shutouts. Akamine has a team-low 1.96 ERA, while posting a 10-9 record with 11 complete games and two shutouts. Hill has 158 strikeouts to 51 walks, while Akamine has 125 strikeouts to 54 base on balls.
? Iowa leads the all-time series over Penn State, 38-15. The Nittany Lions, however, have won the last four meetings over the Hawkeyes, which includes 7-1 and 5-2 victories last season in University Park, Pa.
? Before dropping the last four games to the Nittany Lions, Iowa had won 10-of-the-last-11 games in the series.
? Penn State is third in the Big Ten with a 2.17 team ERA. Offensively, the Nittany Lions have the worst offense in the conference with a .223 batting average.
? Former Hawkeye All-American Lisa (Birocci) Banse is a pitching coach for Penn State. Banse played for Iowa from 2002-05.
LYON TABBED AS BIG TEN PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Chelsea Lyon was tabbed as the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week April 25 after leading Iowa to a 4-2 victory over No. 1 Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native struck out seven Wolverine batters in the contest, while allowing two runs on eight hits in the complete game victory. The honor is the first of Lyon’s career.
HAWKEYE BIG TEN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Junior Liz Watkins was tabbed as the Big Ten Player of the Week April 18 after leading the Hawkeyes to a 3-1 record in games against Minnesota and Northwestern. The catcher finished the week with a .625 batting average with seven RBI and four runs scored.
Watkins earned the accolade the first time on March 28 after hitting .714 with six RBI and six RBI and three runs scored in Iowa’s series sweep at Ohio State. The catcher went 4-for-4 in the opener with three RBI before tallying her fifth straight hit on a three-run long ball to send Iowa to the sweep. It was Watkins’ second career honor.
Senior Stephanie Ochoa was the first Hawkeye honoree March 21 after hitting .612 to lead the Hawkeyes to a 4-2 record. The California native went 4-for-4 in a game at No. 11 Tennessee, which were a career high in hits. She then closed out the week going 5-for-6 with four runs and an RBI in the doubleheader sweep of South Dakota.
JOHNSON TO TRYOUT FOR USA SOFTBALL WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
Assistant coach Stacy Johnson has accepted an invitation to attend the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp. It will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., June 12-17. Approximately 17 athletes will be selected to the USA Softball roster.
TAKING DOWN NO. 1
The Hawkeyes posted their first victory over a top-ranked team since the 2005 season when it downed No. 1 Michigan, 4-2, April 23 in Ann Arbor. It was also Iowa’s first victory over a ranked foe since the 2008 campaign when it topped No. 18 Long Beach State in the NCAA Regional in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes are 7-4 in the friendly confines of Pearl Field this season. The squad is batting .308 as a team in home contests, and five players are hitting over .300. Liz Watkins is pacing the squad with a .478 average in the team’s 11 games with three home runs and 13 RBI.
KEIM ON A HOT STREAK
Junior Katie Keim has been Iowa’s hottest hitter over the last three weeks, as the second baseman has hit .360 over the past 14 games. The Missouri native has 18 hits, 10 runs scored and nine RBI during the stretch, and she had a 10-game hitting streak from April 10 through April 27.
Keim hit home runs in three consecutive games on April 24-April 27, as she became the first Hawkeye to go deep three straight games since Emily Nichols hit long balls in four consecutive contests during the 2005 season. She added a fourth home run May 4 against Illinois, all of which have come over the last seven games.
? The Hawkeyes received votes in the ESPN.com/USA Today Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll on April 26.
? Junior Liz Watkins has 18 RBIs in 18 Big Ten games. She is batting .326 with five extra base hits.
? Sophomore Johnnie Dowling has hit home runs in two of her last three games. She has five home runs this season and 10 for her Hawkeye career.
? Senior Jenny Schuelke hit her fourth and fifth home runs in back-to-back games against Iowa State and Michigan. She now has 15 career long balls.
? Senior Chelsey Carmody has hit safely in 40-of-47 games this season. The shortstop, who had a 25-game hitting streak to start the season, has a team-leading 14 multi-hit games. Carmody missed the Michigan State series due to personal reasons.
? Junior Liz Watkins has caught every inning and every pitch at the catcher position this season. She and fellow junior Katie Keim are the only two Hawkeyes to start every game.
? Senior Stephanie Ochoa is 10th in the Big Ten with a .384 batting average.
? Iowa is aggressive on the base paths, as the squad has 60 stolen bases on the season, which are fourth most in the Big Ten.
? Iowa batters have been plunked 34 times this season. Junior Liz Watkins and sophomore Johnnie Dowling have each been hit 10 times.
? Freshman Kayla Massey has allowed four hits or fewer in seven starts this season. Massey has 16 complete games and three shutouts on her resume.
OCH AT THE DISH
Senior Stephanie Ochoa had a 14-game hitting streak from March 27 through April 27, which was the second longest streak for a Hawkeye player this season. The California native has collected at least one hit in 20-of-her-last-24 games this season, which includes seven multi-hit contests.
Ochoa broke up Indiana starter Morgan Melloh’s no-hit bid May 1 in Bloomington with a two-out, seventh inning bloop single to centerfield.
WATKINS MATCHES CAREER HIGH
Junior Liz Watkins matched her career high in home runs when she belted her eighth and ninth jacks of the season in the 9-7 victory over Northwestern on April 17. The catcher, who is tied for eighth in the Big Ten in homers, also hit nine long balls during her freshman season in 2009.
Watkins’ nine home runs are tied for the seventh most in a single season in school history. Emily Nichols holds the top two totals (16/12), while a quartet of individuals are tied for third with 10.
BIG INNING HAWKEYES
Iowa plated eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to rally from a 7-1 deficit to beat Northwestern, 9-7, on April 17. The Hawkeyes scored the eight runs despite coming up with just two hits in the inning. It was the most runs for the team since plating nine at Wisconsin last season.
Iowa has plated five or more runs in seven innings this season. The eight runs are a high for a single inning, while the squad has scored six runs on three occasions (vs. Idaho State, vs. South Dakota, vs. Michigan State).
GUNNIN’ EM DOWN
Junior Liz Watkins has thrown out 20 base runners this season, which is the most in the Big Ten. The total is more than Watkins’ first two seasons combined, when she threw out 14 base runners (6 – 2010, 8 – 2009).
LYON HURLS A ONE-HITTER
Sophomore Chelsea Lyon pitched one of the best games of her Hawkeye career in leading Iowa to a 2-1 victory at Minnesota on Wednesday evening. The Oklahoma native allowed a single hit – a third inning solo home run – in the complete game victory.
In the doubleheader against the Golden Gophers, Lyon pitched 9.1 innings in the circle, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
BATS EMERGE AT PEARL
The Hawkeyes erupted for 17 hits in the 9-8 victory over Michigan State in the series finale at Pearl Field. The 17 hits were the most for the team since Feb. 25 (at FGCU – 18 hits) and the second most for the squad in a game this season. The hit total are also the most in a conference game.
GAINING THE EARLY ADVANTAGE
The Hawkeyes have jumped on opponents early in games this season, out scoring the opposition 46-23 in the first inning alone. Iowa has gone on to post an 22-8 record when scoring first.
WATKINS GETS 100TH CAREER RBI
Junior Liz Watkins’ 100th career RBI was one she won’t soon forget. After all, it came in the unlikeliest of fashions in the 2-1 road win at Minnesota. Iowa’s power-hitting catcher pushed a bunt in between the third baseman and pitcher, allowing Stephanie Ochoa to cross the plate for what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Watkins, who has 36 RBI this season, has 11 multiple RBI games this season, which includes four three-RBI and one four-RBI game. The Illinois native is the 11th player in Iowa history with at least 100 RBI, ranking 10th with 107 driven in.
IN THE CIRCLE
Iowa’s two pitchers — Kayla Massey and Chelsea Lyon — have shared the duties in the circle this season. Massey is pacing the team with a 3.20 ERA, while posting an 12-11 record with 16 complete games and three shutouts. Lyon, meanwhile, is 14-12 on the rubber with a 3.57 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 158.2 innings.
Massey tossed a four hitter with nine strikeouts in her first collegiate start against Maryland on Feb. 11 in Georgia.
WATKINS TIES ASSISTANT COACH
Junior Liz Watkins tied assistant coach Stacy (May) Johnson on the Iowa career home runs list with her two long balls against Northwestern on April 17. Watkins now has 23 career home runs, which is tied for fourth in the record books. Watkins is two long balls shy of moving into sole possession of third place all-time, trailing only Colleen McGlaughlin (24), Alicia Gerlach (29) and Emily Nichols (37).
3 HAWKEYES, 4 HITS
Three different Hawkeye players have posted perfect 4-for-4 games at the plate this season. Chelsey Carmody accomplished the feat against Liberty on March 12 in Florida, Stephanie Ochoa went 4-for-4 at No. 11 Tennessee, and Liz Watkins went 4-for-4 in the Big Ten opening win at Ohio State.
Eleven different Iowa players have tallied at least one multi-hit game this season. Senior Chelsey Carmody leads the squad with 14 multi-hit games, including three contests with at least three hits. Katie Keim has 13 multi-hit contests, Stephanie Ochoa 12 with five games with at least three hits, and Liz Watkins has 10 on the year.
HAWKEYES WIN STETSON CLASSIC
Iowa posted a 4-1 record to win the round robin formatted Stetson Classic Mar. 11-13 in DeLand, Fla. After opening the tournament with a loss to Liberty, the Hawkeyes won four straight games, including beating Liberty, 4-3, in the championship game.
MOVIN’ ON UP
A pair of Hawkeyes are among the career statistical leaders in school history. Below is the breakdown.
t4th – Home runs – 23
10th – RBI – 107
6th – Hits – 233
7th – Runs – 126
8th – Batting Average – .337
9th – At-bats – 691
t10th – Triples – 10
12th – Doubles – 34
TWO-TIME ALL-BIG TEN SELECTION RETURNS
Two-time all-Big Ten selection Liz Watkins returns behind the plate for her junior season in Black and Gold. Last season, Watkins was a second team all-Big Ten selection after batting .328 with seven doubles, five triples, five home runs and 26 RBI. As a freshman, Watkins was a third team all-Big Ten honoree, hitting .331 with nine jacks and 45 RBI.
The Hawkeyes have a youth-filled roster in 2011, as 11 of the 16 student-athletes are underclassmen. The Iowa roster is comprised of three seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen.
Head coach Marla Looper has signed four players to her 2011 recruiting class. Megan Blank (Culver City, Calif.) signed on with the Hawkeyes in the fall, while Bradi Wall (Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada), Melanie Gladden (Ashner, Okla.) and Sydney Reynolds (Platte City, Mo.) inked National Letters of Intent with Iowa this spring.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN
For the first time since 1988, the Hawkeyes will have a new head coach in charge of the Iowa softball program. Marla Looper takes over the reigns as the Hawkeye head coach, coming to Iowa City from the University of Texas, where she spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach.
FORMER HAWKEYE RETURNS TO STAFF
Four-year letterwinner Stacy Johnson (formerly Stacy May) returns to the Hawkeye coaching staff after wrapping up a stellar professional player career in the National Professional Fastpitch league.
Johnson, who started every game in her Iowa career, was a three-time NFCA all-Mideast Region selection for the Hawkeyes. In 2003, she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after leading the Hawkeyes to the regular season and conference tournament titles.
Iowa has made four Women’s College World Series appearances (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001) and it has played in 16 NCAA Tournaments in school history. The 16 appearances are the second most in Big Ten history.
The Hawkeyes have won four Big Ten Conference regular season championships and two Big Ten Tournament titles.