April 15, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa sophomore Megan Blank has been named Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday. Blank did not record an out in 14 plate appearances while leading the Hawkeyes to a series victory at Northwestern over the weekend.
“That does not happen very often,” said UI head coach Marla Looper about Blank not recording an out in the three-game set. “She is a vital part of our offense. Opponents are showing her a lot of respect. Her walks have increased drastically of late. Unfortunately for us, she is then unable to swing the bat.”
The Culver City, Calif., native garners her second Player of Week honor, and fourth career weekly nod. She was named Player of the Week on March 4, and was also tabbed Freshman of the Week twice last year.
The shortstop finished a perfect 4-for-4 when Northwestern chose to pitch to her, compiling a solo home run, a triple, two singles, three runs and three RBIs. She garnered eight walks and two hit-by-pitches. Blank added a stolen base to go along with a 2.250 slugging percentage.
In the series opening 12-7 win on Friday, Blank tied a personal and school record with four walks. She had a solo home run and scored two runs in the middle game Saturday in a 15-14 Iowa win. The 15 runs are the most by Iowa in a conference game since May 3, 1997, when the Hawkeyes won at Penn State, 19-1. It also marks the most runs for Iowa against the Wildcats in 101 meetings. The 15 runs also equal the second most ever by Iowa in a Big Ten game.
Blank, who became the ninth player in school history to garner first team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman, and the ninth to earn all-region recognition as a freshman in 2012, leads the team with a .440 batting average. The Iowa single season record is .428, set by Kim Davis in 1993. She also paces the Hawkeyes and ranks second in the conference with 49 RBIs, which equals the third most in a season in program history.
Blank has reached base in the last 26 games, including each of Iowa’s 12 league games.
Blank and the Hawkeyes continue action on Wednesday, hosting No. 8 Missouri in a doubleheader at Pearl Field. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 3 p.m.