Feb. 25, 2015
- Read the February issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- 2015 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 (3-10) travels to Orlando, Florida, for the UCF Doubletree/Radisson Invitational this weekend. Iowa will play a doubleheader against LIU Brooklyn (1-13) and No. 17 UCF on Friday, a twinbill against Princeton (1-4) and Florida A&M (0-5) on Saturday, and conclude the weekend with a contest against an opponent yet to be determined on Sunday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow all the action with GameTracker. 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.
TAKING ON THE BEST
Twelve of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released on Feb. 24. They include: Florida (1), Oregon (2), Michigan (3), Oklahoma (4), Louisiana-Lafayette (6), Minnesota (11), UCF (15), Missouri (20), Ohio State (RV), Cal State Fullerton (RV), Tulsa (RV), and NC State (RV).
MULLARKEY, ERICKSON PROVIDE OFFENSE
Junior Erin Erickson and sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey recorded solo homeruns against Missouri State on Feb. 22. Erickson sent her first homerun of the season and fifth of her career over the center field wall. Mullarkey’s blast was the second of her career and first of the season.
ERICKSON NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Junior Erin Erickson was named to the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational All-Tournament team following the five-game invite Feb. 20-22. Erickson posted a .308 batting average and a .615 slugging percentage on the weekend with a double, home run, and two RBIs.
MULLARKEY SHINES AT RAGIN’ CAJUN INVITE
Kaitlyn Mullarkey hit her way into the starting lineup at the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational on Feb. 20-22. The sophomore recorded pinch-hit single against Hofstra on Feb. 21 before being entered into the starting line-up at first base against Missouri State on Feb. 21. Mullarkey led the Hawkeyes with a .500 batting average and a 1.167 slugging percentage in the three-day tournament. She hit her first home run of the season and second of her career against Missouri State on Feb. 22.
GYERMAN LEADING THE WAY
Sammi Gyerman leads the team in hits (12) through the first 13 games of the 2015 season. The redshirt sophomore has 12 hits in 39 at bats this season. She owns a .308 clip, has a .386 on-base percentage, and is slugging .359. She has reached base successfully in 10-straight games.
WOOD HEATS UP
Freshman Allie Wood went 3-for-5 in a doubleheader against Hofstra and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 20. Wood recorded her first career extra-base hit and a game-high 2 RBIs against Hofstra.
Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in fielding double plays. The Hawkeyes have turned eight double plays on the season, including two against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 20.
The Hawkeyes rank eighth in the Big Ten in doubles. Iowa has recorded 16 doubles on the season. Junior Whitney Repole leads the team with three, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman, senior Megan Blank and freshman Cheyenne Pratt each have two.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (49) and third in batters struck out looking (14). Starkenburg fanned a career high eight batters in seven innings of no-hit work against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. She has 49 strikeouts in 51.0 innings this season.
SCOUTING LIU BROOKLYN
LIU Brooklyn is 1-13 on the season. The Blackbirds lost to Big Ten foe Penn State 9-1 on Feb. 7 at the FAU Kick-Off Classic in Boca Raton, Florida, and dropped a pair of games to Purdue (7-6; 12-0) on Feb. 13-14 at the Florida International Invitational in Miami, Florida. Iowa holds a 5-2 advantage in the series.
SCOUTING #17 UCF
UCF holds a 12-1 record this season and is currently ranked No. 17 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll. The Knights travel to Gainesville, Florida, on Wednesday to face No. 1 Florida. The all-time series between the Hawkeyes and Knights is tied at one game apiece.
Princeton owns a 1-4 record on the season. The Tigers finished 17-26 overall and 9-11 in the Ivy League a season ago. Saturday marks the first meeting between the Hawkeyes and the Tigers.
SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M
Florida A&M is 0-5 on the season. The Rattlers finished 25-29 overall and 9-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2014. Iowa holds a 3-0 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 owns a .333 slugging percentage and a .328 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 five 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 went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs in a twinbill against Hofstra and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 20.
-Freshman Angela Schmiederer has started seven games behind the plate for the Hawkeyes. She recorded her first career hit against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 20.
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.
URTZ 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: 16th all-time (97)
-Career hits: 15th all-time (188)
-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: 7th all-time (120)
-Career Average: 3rd all-time (.390), 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. 3 Michigan and No. 13 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.
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). Iowa holds a 1251-753-5 (.624) record in 37 seasons.