March 4, 2015
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The University of Iowa softball team (6-11) travels to Fullerton, California, for the Judi Garman Classic this weekend. Iowa will play a doubleheader against San Jose State (14-6) and Fresno State (14-5) on Friday, a twinbill against San Diego State (11-7) and Cal State Fullerton (13-8) on Saturday, and conclude the weekend with a contest against No. 2 Oregon (16-2) 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.
TAKING ON THE BEST
Eleven of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released on March 3. They include: Florida (1), Oregon (2), Michigan (3), Oklahoma (6), Louisiana-Lafayette (7), Minnesota (T-17), UCF (T-17), Missouri (21), Fresno State (RV), NC State (RV) and Cal State Fullerton (RV).
DOWN GOES NO. 17
The Hawkeyes defeated No. 17 UCF on Feb. 27 to notch their first win over a ranked opponent this season. Junior Erin Erickson used a squeeze bunt to score the eventual game-winning run in the fifth to guide the Hawkeyes to a 3-2 victory. Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg was credited with the complete game win. She allowed one earned run on six hits and struck out three.
PLAYING CLOSE TO HOME
The Hawkeyes have six California natives on their roster. Each player hails from a town within a 6.5 hour radius of Fullerton, California. They include: sophomore Alyssa Navarro (Dinubu; 4 hours), junior Erin Erickson (Oakland; 6.5 hours), senior Megan Blank (Culver City; 50 minutes), freshman Allie Wood (Cypress; 20 minutes), redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman (San Pedro; 45 minutes) and freshman Daniela Chambers (Irvine; 30 minutes).
MULLARKEY FINDS HER GROOVE
Sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey currently leads the team in batting average (.353), slugging percentage (.647), and on base percentage (.450). Mullarkey hit her way back into the starting lineup at the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational on Feb. 20-22. She recorded a .500 clip and a 1.167 slugging percentage in the three-day tournament.
The Hawkeyes are tied for fourth in the Big Ten in doubles. Iowa has recorded 24 doubles on the season. Senior Megan Blank leads the team with four, while junior Whitney Repole has three on the season.
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.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (61) and fourth in batters struck out looking (15). Starkenburg fanned a career high nine batters against Florida A&M on March 1. She recorded her first career no-hitter against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. The Ankeny, Iowa, native has 61 strikeouts in 65.0 innings this season.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State owns a 14-6 record this season with two of its losses coming to ranked opponents (No. 14 Arizona; No. 18 California). The Spartans finished 30-24 last season with a 13-11 Mountain West Conference record. The Hawkeyes hold a 9-2 lead in the all-time series.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Fresno State is 14-5 on the season and currently receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 poll. The Bulldogs finished 31-21 last season and posted a 15-9 Mountain West Conference record. The all-time series is currently tied at three games apiece.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATE
The Aztecs own an 11-7 record on the season with six of their losses coming to ranked opponents (No. 25/24 Texas A&M; No. 9/6 UCLA; No. 4/3 Oklahoma; No. 14/15 LSU; No. 11/9 Kentucky; No. 2/2 Oregon). The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series, 3-2.
SCOUTING CAL STATE FULLERTON
Cal State Fullerton owns a 13-8 record and is currently receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 poll. The Titans finished 33-21-1 overall in 2014 and fourth in the Big West Conference with a 13-8 record. The Hawkeyes hold a 4-1 advantage in the all-time series. Iowa won the last meeting, 7-0, on March 2, 2013.
SCOUTING NO. 2 OREGON
No. 2 Oregon is 16-2 this season with two losses against No. 7 Baylor and No. 1 Florida. The Ducks finished 56-9-1 last season and won the Pac-12 with a 20-3-1 record. Oregon advanced to the Final Four of the Women’s College World Series before falling, 2-0, to Alabama. This is the first meeting between the Ducks and Hawkeyes since 1998. Iowa holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.
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 the fifth of her career over the center field wall. Mullarkey’s blast was the second of her career and her 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 invitational 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.
NEWCOMERS SEE SUCCESS
-Freshman Cheyenne Pratt has started every game this season. She currently owns a .315 slugging percentage and a .241 clip as the team’s leadoff hitter.
–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 seven games in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She notched her first career win against Northern Iowa on Feb. 6, and is 2-5 on the season.
-Freshman Allie Wood has started 15 games 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 nine games behind the plate for the Hawkeyes. She went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Iowa’s 10-2 run rule win over LIU Brooklyn in five innings.
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: 15th all-time (101)
-Career hits: 15th all-time (192)
-Career doubles: 5th all-time (47)
-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 (122)
-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
Two Big Ten teams appeared the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released March 3. They include No. 3 Michigan and No. 17 Minnesota.
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.
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.