April 3, 2012
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The University of Iowa softball team, winners of four of its last five games, hosts Drake for a single contest Wednesday night at Pearl Field beginning at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live via Hawkeye All-Access. 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.
Wednesday’s nonconference tilt against Drake will be streamed live online via the BTN’s “Student U” broadcast. The streamed content is available on the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com.
Fans can listen to every game for the remainder of the 2012 season via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will call the action. 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.
Hawkeye fans can follow the University of Iowa softball team on the social media platforms Twitter (@iowasoftball) and Facebook (facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball). Game updates will be tweeted during each game.
Wednesday night’s game against Drake is “Taking Care of Business Night” at Pearl Field. The first 100 fans will receive an Iowa softball padfolio and season ticketholders can register to win $10 of concession vouchers to use as any future game during the 2012 season.
Drake has won eight of its last 10 games to improve its record to 15-16 on the season. Last week, the Bulldogs fell, 1-0, to Iowa State in Ames before taking 2-of-3 against Missouri State in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Drake, which is batting .243 as a team, has three players hitting over .300. Hayley Nybo is the Bulldogs’ top everyday player, hitting .310 with five home runs and a team-leading 23 RBI. Lindsey Vande Wall is hitting .303 with eight doubles and 10 RBI.
Jordan Gronewold is DU’s top pitcher, posting a 11-10 record with a 2.29 ERA. The sophomore has 122 strikeouts in 137.1 innings, while issuing 53 base on balls. Rebekah Schmidt is 4-6 in the circle with a 2.59 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 70.1 innings.
? The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series over Drake, 33-9. The Bulldogs, however, have won three of the last five meetings in the series.
? Last season, Drake downed the Hawkeyes, 2-1, in Des Moines. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning off an RBI single by Amy Pierce.
? Iowa and Drake have played four common opponents this season in Arkansas, Wisconsin, Texas-Arlington and Iowa State.
? Drake head coach Rich Calvert served as an assistant coach with the Hawkeyes from 1997-2002. He helped lead Iowa to five NCAA Tournament appearances, two Women’s College World Series and two Big Ten titles.
? The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten Conference in team fielding (.966) and team pitching (2.24) and 10th in team batting (.254). The Hawkeyes rank 46th nationally in team ERA.
? Freshman Melanie Gladden drew a bases loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Iowa the 1-0 win and series sweep over Illinois on April 1. It was Iowa’s first three-game sweep of a conference foe since 1999 against Purdue. (The Big Ten switched to two-game series in 2000 prior to this season).
? Iowa pounded out 11 hits in the 9-1, six inning victory over Illinois in game two of the series. The 11 hits were the second most for the Hawkeyes this season behind the 29 hits against Iowa State on Feb. 18.
? Iowa did not strikeout in game two of the series against the Fighting Illini. It was the first time this season that the Hawkeyes didn’t have a strikeout.
? Iowa and Illinois played a 10 inning, three hour and 12 minute game April 1. It was the Hawkeyes’ longest game since April 22, 2008 — a span of 203 games. That contest between Iowa and Drake lasted 3:14 minutes.
? The Iowa pitching staff went 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA in the series against Illinois. The Hawkeyes allowed two earned runs and had 18 strikeouts in 23 innings.
? Freshman Megan Blank ranks among the top-11 in the Big Ten in five offensive categories. She is tied for third in triples (3), tied for fourth in doubles (10), seventh in batting average (.404) and slugging percentage (.618) and 11th in hits (36).
? Junior Chelsea Lyon (2.20) and sophomore Kayla Massey (2.29) rank fifth and sixth, respectively in the Big Ten in ERA.
? Iowa scored 26 runs in the 26-5 rout of Iowa State on Feb. 19. The Hawkeyes plated 13 runs in the top of the third inning alone. Iowa didn’t score 13 runs in a game last season.
? Seventeen of Iowa’s 31 games have been decided two runs or less. Iowa is 7-10 in such games.
? The Hawkeyes are 11-5 this season when scoring three or more runs and 11-5 when scoring the game’s first run.
? Four Iowa players — Megan Blank, Katie Keim, Johnnie Dowling and Bradi Wall — have started every game this season.
HAWKEYES RECEIVING VOTES
Iowa is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll. The Hawkeyes have three votes , which puts them in a tie for 29th with New Mexico and Purdue.
Iowa last received votes on April 26, 2011, in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll following its road victory at top-ranked Michigan.
LYON SHARP AGAINST ILLINOIS
Junior Chelsea Lyon posted a 2-0 record with a 0.44 ERA in Iowa’s three-game sweep over Illinois. The righthander allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts in the 5-1 victory in game two of the series before tossing a 10-inning complete game shutout April 1 to propel the Hawkeyes to the sweep. She had seven strikeouts to three walks in the victory.
2 HAWKEYES HIT FIRST CAREER HOME RUN
Two Iowa underclassmen — sophomore Malloree Grove and freshman Melanie Gladden — connected on their first career home runs in the 9-1, six inning victory over Illinois on March 31. Grove hit a solo home run to left field in the third inning before Gladden connected on a two-run shot in the fourth.
Ten different Hawkeyes have tallied at least one multi-hit game this season. Senior Katie Keim and freshman Megan Blank are leading the team with 11 multi-hit contests, while junior Johnnie Dowling has eight such games.
KEIM HITS FOURTH LONG BALL
Senior Katie Keim connected on her team-leading fourth home run in the 5-4 loss to Wisconsin on March 25. The first baseman is batting .313 with a 21 RBI to pace the Hawkeyes.
Keim’s 21 RBI are a single season career best and her four home runs match her 2011 production. Her .510 slugging percentage is nearly 150 points higher than her career average (.354).
RECORD SETTING ROUT
Iowa had a record-setting 26-5 rout of Iowa State on Feb. 18 at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Hawkeyes set school records for runs (26), hits (29), RBI (23), total bases (41) and single game batting average (.659). Iowa scored 13 runs in the second inning alone, which is believed to be the school record.
NOT SHYING AWAY FROM TOP COMPETITION
The Hawkeyes have not shied away from playing against the nation’s elite. Iowa has played 10 games against ranked teams, including eight games against top 13 ranked foes.
Iowa is 1-9 against ranked competition with its lone victory coming against No. 23 Oklahoma State, 6-5, on March 3 in Oklahoma City. The Hawkeyes nearly defeated No. 5 Arizona State in Tempe, falling 5-2 despite taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Hawkeyes have squared off against three pitchers — Missouri’s Chelsea Thomas, Baylor’s Whitney Canion and Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts — that played for the USA Women’s National Team last summer.
BLANK EARNS BIG TEN ACCOLADE
Shortstop Megan Blank was tabbed Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Feb. 13 after posting a .583 batting average with six runs and two steals at the Getterman Classic. The California native reached base at nearly a 70 percent clip, getting on twice or more in four games. She went 3-for-3 against Arkansas, drew four walks against Wichita State and scored the game-winning run in the 1-0 win over UT-Arlington.
DOWLING MAKES THE MOVE
At the plate, junior Johnnie Dowling made the transition from a right-handed hitter to a left-handed slapper following the 2011 season to utilize her speed. The Des Moines, Iowa, native hit .216 with five home runs as a sophomore.
WALL STILL GROWING
The 2012 season will be junior Bradi Wall’s third year playing softball. Growing up, she played baseball and parlayed that experience into two appearances for the Canada National Baseball Team. The last two years Wall played softball at Iowa Western Community College, where she earned All-America recognition after batting .458 with 32 doubles.
MAY-JOHNSON AND TEAM USA
UI assistant coach Stacy May-Johnson was selected as the 2011 USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year. She earned the honor after helping Team USA to gold medals at the World Cup of Softball VII and the Pan American Games. May-Johnson batted a team-best .418 with team highs in home runs (six), runs (26) and RBI (36). She will play for the Red, White and Blue again in 2012.
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.