April 30, 2013
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The University of Iowa softball team (26-23, 5-15) concludes the regular season with four games this week. The Hawkeyes host Iowa State (21-29, 4-11) on Wednesday at Pearl Field in the final event of the 2012-13 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. First pitch for Iowa’s home finale is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The Hawkeyes then travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to conclude the Big Ten regular season this weekend against Purdue (22-28, 8-12). The series opener is set for 3 p.m. The middle game and series finale will start at noon on Saturday and Sunday. All times are Central and all games will be played at the Boilermaker Softball Complex.
Wednesday’s game against Iowa State can be seen live on the Big Ten Digital Network via Hawkeye All-Access or video.BTN.com. Hawkeye All-Access is a subscription service that charges $9.95 per month.
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com.
Hawkeye fans can follow the University of Iowa softball team on social media platforms Twitter (@iowasoftball) and Facebook (facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball). Game updates will be tweeted during each game.
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.
HAWKEYES CLINCH IOWA CORN CY-HAWK SERIES
? Iowa has clinched the ninth annual Cy-Hawk Series in 2012-13, being sponsored for the second time by Iowa Corn. The Hawkeyes lead the series, 14-9, with softball and the academic point left on the schedule. The Iowa women’s gymnastics team clinched the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series with a 196.375-194.575 victory over Iowa State on March 8.
? Iowa has claimed the last six events in the series (wrestling, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s swimming, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics). The Hawkeyes won the first event (women’s soccer), before the Cyclones won four-straight (volleyball, football, men’s cross country, women’s cross country).
? The 12-event series awards two points (except football, which is worth three) to the winning school in each head-to-head match-up between the two institutions. Additionally, one point is awarded to an institution if the graduation rate of its student-athletes is greater than the national average as reported each fall by the NCAA.
? The Hawkeyes are 19-5 when scoring first, 17-0 when holding their foes to two runs or less, and 20-4 when out-hitting opponents.
? Iowa has six wins against ranked opponents: No. 11 Louisville, No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 Nebraska, No. 21 Kentucky, No. 24 Oregon State.
? Megan 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, is second in the Big Ten with 58 RBIs (second-highest single-season total in program history). The sophomore was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 4 and April 15. Blank is eighth nationally in on-base percentage (.566), 12th in RBIs per game (1.18) and 12th in batting average (.450).
? Senior Johnnie Dowling is second in the league with four triples. Dowling ranks 33rd nationally.
? Iowa has been hit-by-pitch 73 times this season to lead the Big Ten. Bradi Wall has been plunked 26 times this season. The senior leads the league and has twice as many HBPs as the next closest league player in the rankings. Wall is third nationally in HBPs.
? Iowa is 31-28-1 all-time against Iowa State.
? The Hawkeyes and Cyclones split two games last year. Iowa won the first meeting in Tempe, Ariz., on Feb. 18, 26-5, in five innings. Iowa State won the second meeting, 4-3, on April 18 in Ames.
? Iowa posted school records in runs, hits, RBI, total bases and team batting average in the 26-5, five-inning rout of Iowa State. The Hawkeyes collected hits in 29-of-44 at-bats to post a school record .659 team batting average. The team scored 26 runs on 29 hits with 23 RBIs, while finishing with 41 total bases.
? In the win, 13 different UI players finished with at least one hit in the game. Senior Liz Watkins tied a school record with five hits, going 5-for-5 with five RBIs and four runs scored. Senior Katie Keim set a school record with five runs scored, while also going 4-for-6 with five RBIs. Two of her four hits were home runs, including a three-run long ball in the fifth inning. Kayla Massey went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, while Bradi Wall went 4-for-4 with five RBIs and one run scored. Megan Blank (3-for-5, three runs) and Brianna Luna (2-for-3, two runs) also collected multi-hit games.
? Iowa has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series.
SCOUTING IOWA STATE
? Iowa State is 21-29 overall, and 4-11 in Big 12 Conference play.
? The Cyclones swept UMKC in a doubleheader at home on Monday (10-4, 7-4).
? Iowa State is 0-16 in true road games, and 10-8 at neutral sites.
? Erica Miller leads the regulars with a .370 batting average.
? Tori Torrescano leads the team in wins (11), appearances (31) and games started (24).
Former Hawkeye All-American Brittany Weil, now Brittany Weil-Miller, is in her first season as a Cyclone assistant coach. Weil played at Iowa from 2006-09, and is one of nine players in program history to be a four-time All-Big Ten selection. She was selected as the seventh overall pick in the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the Akron Racers, and is one of three Hawkeyes ever selected in the NPF Senior Draft.
Weil, a three-time All-Region honoree, was named second team All-America in 2009, finishing 26-12 with 14 shutouts, five no-hitters and a 1.10 ERA. Weil became the first Hawkeye to be named NFCA National Player of the Week in 2009. She recorded a career-high 19 strikeouts in an eight-inning no-hit effort against Kent State (2-13-09).
Weil departed Iowa with school records for strikeouts (1,083), innings pitched (1,011.2), complete games (110), games pitched (183) and no-hitters (five), and is also tied for first with 99 wins. She also holds the single-season records for strikeouts (339) and no-hitters (five).
SUCCESS AGAINST IN-STATE RIVALS
? In two games this season against in-state opponents, Iowa has outscored its foes, 28-1.
? Iowa routed Drake, 18-0, in five innings on April 3 at Ron Buel Field behind a season-best 17 hits and a complete game victory from junior starter Kayla Massey.
? The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Iowa, 10-1, in five innings on April 25 at Robinson-Dresser Field in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
? Megan Blank is hitting .450. The single-season school record is .428, set by Kim Davis in 1993. The sophomore’s career average is .418. The school record is .409, set by Lea Twigg (1996-97).
? Blank has 58 RBIs this season — the second highest total in school history. Debbie Bilbao posted a school-record 61 RBIs in 1997.
? Blank has 11 home runs this season — the third-highest single-season total.
? Johnnie Dowling has scored 116 career runs — the ninth-highest total in program history. The senior has swiped 49 career bases, which ranks 10th. Her four triples this season tie the 16th-most in a season in school history.
? Junior Kayla Massey is eighth all-time with 62 complete games.
? Senior Chelsea Lyon ranks 10th in career strikeouts (345), ninth in career games pitched (113) and ninth with 51 complete games.
? Megan Blank is second in the Big Ten with 58 RBIs, ranks third with 115 total bases, a .821 slugging percentage, a .450 batting average, and fourth with a .566 on-base percentage.
? Blank leads the league in Big Ten games only in batting average (.500) and on-base percentage (.653). She is slugging 1.019 in conference play, to rank second.
? Senior Johnnie Dowling is second in the league with four triples. Junior Michelle Zoeller is tied for third with three.
? Dowling ranks seventh in runs scored (42) and ninth in stolen bases (17).
? Bradi Wall leads the Big Ten with 26 hit-by-pitches.
HIGHEST SCORING IOWA LEAGUE GAME…EVER
? Iowa outlasted Northwestern, 15-14, in a marathon on April 13 in the middle game of a three-game set at Sharon J. Drysdale Field. The slugfest included 29 runs on 25 hits and lasted almost three hours.
? 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 equal the second most ever by Iowa in a Big Ten game.
? The 29 combined runs are the most in a Big Ten game that the Hawkeyes have played in, and the second most overall in program history (31 in a 26-5 victory over Iowa State last year).
? After winning the opener, 12-7, the Hawkeyes posted 27 runs combined in the two road wins at Northwestern. Iowa pushed across 16 runs total in in its first nine league games, entering the series.
? The 27 runs mark the most over two games since the Hawkeyes scored 33 in back-to-back wins against Central Michigan (7-5) and Iowa State (26-5) on Feb. 18, 2012.
Iowa topped Penn State April 28, 5-0, and celebrated the careers of five Hawkeye seniors in the process. The Hawkeyes honored team manager Cameron Cole, Ashley Akers, Johnnie Dowling, Chelsea Lyon, Sam Valentine and Bradi Wall following the victory. Lyon and Wall had big games for Iowa in their final conference home game. Lyon tossed a complete game shutout, allowing three hits. Wall finished a perfect 3-for-3 with her third career home run.
? Akers, a native of Tiffin, Iowa, is a three-year starter and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She has played in 192 career games, and Sunday marked the 150th start of her career. Starting 101 games in left field the last two seasons, she has swiped 32 career bases, scored 72 runs and notched 100 hits. This season, she has posted six multiple-hit games.
? Dowling is a four-year starter and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She was named third-team All-Big Ten a year ago. She has played in 195 career games, and Sunday’s game marked the 189th start of her career. The Hawkeye lead-off hitter ranks ninth in program history in runs scored and 10th in stolen bases. Dowling, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, paces Iowa this season with 19 multi-hit games and ranks 20th nationally in triples and sixth in the Big Ten in runs scored.
? Lyon is a four-year starter inside the circle for the Black and Gold. She has made 113 career appearances with 87 starts, compiling 45 wins. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native ranks 10th in career strikeouts in program history, ninth in career games pitched, and eighth in complete games. She has struck out 345 opposing hitters during her time at Iowa. Lyon has nine victories this season with three shutouts.
? Valentine is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, garnering the honor each of the last two seasons. She has played in 61 career games for the Black and Gold. Originally an infielder, the Centerville, Iowa, native transitioned to catcher during the middle of her career.
? Wall has played in 101-of-102 games during her two seasons with the Hawkeyes. Sunday marked her 101st career start at second base. A member of the Canadian Women’s National Baseball Team, she leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in hit-by-pitches. She was part of the Hawkeye middle infield that turned 26 doubles plays a year ago, the sixth-highest total in the country. The Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, native has six multi-hit games this season.
IOWA IN B1G PLAY
Head coach Marla Looper led the Hawkeyes to a runner-up finish in the Big Ten a year ago — the program’s highest finish since winning the league title in 2003. Iowa dropped two of its first three conference series before winning five straight to close out the season. It was the first time the team had won five straight series since the 2004 season. Iowa entered the final weekend with a conference title within reach, but it couldn’t close the gap with Michigan despite taking 2-of-3 games at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes finished with a 27-26 overall and 16-8 conference record in 2012, winning 11 of their final 15 Big Ten games. Looper is 30-34 at Iowa during league play.
The Big Ten is one of three conferences, joining the SEC and Pac-12, with six or more teams in the top 50 of the latest RPI. Nebraska (sixth) climbs four spots this week, while Michigan (12th), Wisconsin (23rd), Minnesota (29th), Iowa (34th) and Northwestern (45th) are also among the top 50. Indiana’s Amanda Wagner (on-base percentage), Iowa’s Megan Blank (on-base percentage), Michigan’s Sierra Romero (home runs, RBI per game), Minnesota’s Sara Moulton (wins, shutouts) and Kaitlyn Richardson (batting average, on-base percentage), Northwestern’s Amy Letourneau (strikeouts) and Penn State’s Cassidy Bell (batting average, home runs, walks, slugging percentage, runs per game, on-base percentage) rank among the top 10 nationally in their respective stat categories.
Iowa has made four Women’s College World Series appearances (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001) and played in 16 NCAA Tournaments in school history. The 16 appearances are the second most in Big Ten history, and the four WCWS appearances equal the second most in conference history. The Hawkeyes have won four Big Ten Conference regular season championships (1989, 1997, 2000, 2003) and two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003).
B1G TOURNEY IS BACK
The Big Ten Tournament is back this season for the first time since 2008. Following the conclusion of the regular season, Iowa will travel to Lincoln, Neb., May 9-12. The Hawkeyes have claimed two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003) and have won 21 games in the event all-time, marking the second most of any team. The conference tournament was discontinued from 2009-12.