Feb. 18, 2015
- Read the February issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- 2014 Media Guide
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPad/iPhone app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
The University of Iowa softball team (3-5) travels to Lafayette, Louisiana, for the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational this weekend. Iowa will play a doubleheader against Hofstra (2-3) and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (9-0) on Friday, a twinbill against Hofstra and Missouri State (6-4) on Saturday, and conclude the weekend with another game against Missouri State on Sunday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow all the action with live stats. Links can be accessed on the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com. For in-game updates, follow @IowaSoftball on Twitter and “like” our official page on Facebook, facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball. A live stream is available for Iowa’s game against tournament host Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday. Fans can keep up with the action at the tournament central page HERE.
TAKING ON THE BEST
Fifteen of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Division I Poll released on Feb. 17. They include: Florida (1), Oregon (2), Oklahoma (3), Michigan (4), Louisiana-Lafayette (6), Minnesota (14), Missouri (18), UCF (19), Tulsa (25), Cal State Fullerton (RV), Mississippi State (6), San Diego State (RV), Nebraska (RV), Ohio State (RV) and North Dakota State (RV).
GYERMAN LEADING THE WAY
Sammi Gyerman leads the team in hits (8) and batting average (.348) through the first eight games of the 2015 season. The redshirt sophomore has eight hits in 23 at bats this season. She has reached base successfully in five-straight games and has recorded at least one hit in Iowa’s last four games.
Junior Whitney Reople’s twin sister, Katie, plays for Louisiana-Lafayette. The junior transferred to Louisiana-Lafayette after two seasons at Illinois. Friday marks the third consecutive year the Repole sisters will face off in a series or tournament. The Repole’s are a competitive family that keeps score of their daughters’ rivalry. Katie currently holds a 4-2 advantage.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg has recorded at least six strikeouts in every start this season. Starkenburg fanned a career high eight batters in seven innings of no-hit work against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. She has 35 strikeouts in 30.2 innings this season — more than half of her total from last season (51 strikeouts; 78.1 innings).
IN THE B1G
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (35) and batters struck out looking (8). Starkenburg has fanned at least six batters in each of her starts this season.
Hofstra is 2-3 on the season and receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll. Hofstra is coming off its 15th NCAA appearance and has qualified for the NCAA Regionals for three consecutive seasons from 2012-14. Iowa holds a 3-1 record in the all-time series. The teams last met in the 2003 NCAA Tournament where Iowa notched a 3-0 win in the Lincoln Regional in Nebraska.
Louisiana-Lafayette is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll. The Ragin’ Cajuns own a 9-0 record and have been ranked in the Top 10 since the preseason. Louisiana-Lafayette advanced to the Women’s College World Series last season with an overall record of 49-10-1. The Ragin’ Cajuns hold a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE
Missouri State holds a 6-4 record this season and posted a record of 28-27 in 2014. The Bears dropped two games (4-3; 6-1) to Big Ten foe Penn State at the Texas A&M Aggie Classic in College Station, Texas on Feb. 13-14. The Bears hold a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series.
YOWAYS IN A NEW ROLE
Freshman Ashley Yoways was recruited as an infielder, but she is now finding success in the circle for the Hawkeyes. Yoways notched her first career win against Northern Iowa on Feb. 6. She has started three games for the Hawkeyes this season.
NEWCOMERS SEE SUCCESS
-Freshman Cheyenne Pratt has started every game in left field this season. She currently leads the team in slugging percentage (.500) and owns a .318 clip.
–Sarah Kurtz has started every game at third base this season. The freshman recorded her first career homerun in Iowa’s 6-0 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay on Feb. 8.
-Freshman Ashley Yoways has started three games in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She notched her first career win against Northern Iowa on Feb. 6.
-Freshman Allie Wood has started every game in right field for the Hawkeyes. She recorded her first career hit against Northern Iowa on Feb. 6.
STARKENBURG SILENCES THUNDERBIRDS
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg registered her first career no-hitter against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. Starkenburg fanned a career-high eight batters and only walked three in seven innings of work. She became just the seventh pitcher in Iowa history to toss a no-hitter, and the first pitcher to do so since Amanda Zust on March 21, 2010. Starkenburg’s no-hitter is the 17th in Iowa softball history.
PRATT SHINES IN DEBUT
Cheyenne Pratt started all five games in left field at the UNI Dome Tournament on Feb. 6-8. The freshman recorded a .462 clip, collecting six hits in 13 at bats. Three of her six hits were for extra bases.
KURTZ GOES YARD
Freshman Sarah Kurtz sent a two-run homerun over the center field fence in the Hawkeyes’ 6-0 victory over Green Bay on Feb. 8. The long ball was the first of Kurtz’s career and the first for the Hawkeyes this season.
-Career runs scored: 17th all-time (96)
-Career hits: has 184, three from tying Jessica Bashor (2000-03) for 15th all-time (187)
-Career doubles: 5th all-time (45)
-Career triples: tied for 10th all-time (10), 1 from tying for 7th (11)
-Career HR: tied for 8th all-time (18), 2 from tying for 7th (20)
-Career RBI: 9th all-time (118), 1 from tying for 8th (119)
-Career Average: 2nd all-time (.395), Lea Twigg (1996-97) is the record holder with .409
-Doubles in a season: 17 in 2012, tied for 4th all-time; 5 in 2013, tied for 9th all-time
-Triples in a season: 5 in 2012, tied for 8th all-time
-HR in a season: 11 in 2013, 3rd all-time
-RBI in a season: 59 in 2013, 2nd all-time
-Average in a season: .437 in 2013 record holder
IN THE RANKINGS – B1G
Three Big Ten teams appeared the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released Feb. 17. No. 5 Michigan and No. 15 Minnesota are ranked within the top 25, while Nebraska is receiving votes.
B1G IN THE POSTSEASON
Five Big Ten teams punched their ticket to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Co-Big Ten regular season champions Michigan and Nebraska and Big Ten Tournament Champion Minnesota won their Regionals before losing in the Super Regional round. Both Wisconsin and Northwestern were knocked out of the postseason in the Regional round.
BLANK NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN
Senior shortstop Megan Blank was named a Preseason First Team All-Big Ten infielder by College Sports Madness on Feb. 4. Blank, a three-time regular season First Team All-Big Ten honoree, led the Hawkeyes in batting average (.361), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.452), hits (48), doubles (11), triples (3) and RBIs (25) in 2014.
MEET THE CAPTAINS
Sophomore walk-ons Kaitlyn Mullarkey and Kara Misel were voted 2015 captains by their teammates. Mullarkey stepped in last season when injuries created a spot in the field. She logged time in the outfield before joining the infield for the majority of the Big Ten season as Iowa’s first baseman. Misel appeared primarily as a pinch runner in 2014.
NFCA HONORS BLANK FOR 3RD-STRAIGHT YEAR
Shortstop Megan Blank collected her third-straight NFCA honor as she was a second team All-Midwest Region pick in 2014. The senior was named to the NFCA All-Midwest Region second team as a freshman and first team as a sophomore. She is the 16th player in Iowa history to earn three regional awards in her career.
3 IN A ROW
Senior Megan Blank received her third-straight First Team All-Big Ten accolade and was also named to the conference’s All-Defensive Team, following the 2014 season. The shortstop is the eighth Iowa player to earn first team distinction three times. Blank led the Hawkeyes in batting average (.361), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.452), hits (48), doubles (11), triples (3) and RBIs (25) last season. In Big Ten action, Blank hit at a .415 clip, slugged .677 and compiled an on-base percentage of .506. Seven of her 11 doubles, two of her three triples, two of her five home runs and 15 of her 25 RBIs came against conference foes. Heading into her senior season, Blank ranks in several career categories at Iowa. She is second with a .398 batting average, sixth with 43 doubles, eighth with 18 home runs, ninth with 113 RBIs and 10th with 10 triples with one season remaining with the Hawkeyes. Blank led the team with 13 multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games, had the longest reached base streak (14) and owned the longest hitting streak (9). She ended the season with a seven-game reached base streak.
HAWKEYE COACHING DEBUT
Adam Arbour joined the University of Iowa softball program as an assistant coach on July 30, 2014. Arbour spent the last three years as a volunteer assistant coach at Alabama under head coach Patrick Murphy. He helped the Crimson Tide to an NCAA National Championship in 2012 and a Women’s College World Series Runner-Up finish in 2014. Prior to Alabama, Arbour served as a student manager at Michigan under head coach Carol Hutchins from 2008-11. While at Michigan, the Wolverines won three-straight Big Ten Championships (2009, 2010, 2011) and advanced to the Women’s College World Series in 2009.
WELCOME TO THE 100 CLUB
Fourth-year head coach Marla Looper collected her 100th career win, 3-2, in the 2014 regular season finale at Pearl Field against Ohio State. Iowa recorded 27 wins in 2011, 27 wins in 2012 and added 30 wins in 2013. The team’s 30 wins last season was the highest win total since 2009 when the Hawkeyes posted a 42-19 mark. UI softball added 16 wins — nine in conference action and three over ranked foes — in 2014 bringing Looper’s career record to 100-104-1 (.490) as the Iowa skipper.
The Hawkeyes have benefited from two new facilities in 2015 — the indoor Iowa Turf Facility, located at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex, and the Jacobson Hitting Facility, located in football’s former weight room. The HTRC Iowa Turf Facility has enabled the program to have consistency in team practices, while the Jacobson hitting cages have allowed student-athletes to take extra reps at any time.
GAME DAY ATMOSPHERE ADDITION
Hawkeye softball added a video scoreboard to their game day atmosphere in 2014. The board, which is approximately 16-feet tall and 28-feet wide, was a repurposed video wall from football’s Kinnick Stadium. A border of Iowa softball accolades surrounds the video scoreboard and completes the new look. The video scoreboard made its debut at the 2014 home opener against Drake on April 2, 2014. Since then, it has been used to show in-game highlights, introductory videos, graphics, advertisements and additional content.
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).