March 11, 2015
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The University of Iowa softball team (7-15) begins its spring break slate at the University of Oklahoma Tournament in Norman, Oklahoma, on March 14-16. Following the tournament, the Hawkeyes travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for a single game against Oklahoma State on March 17 and on to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a contest against Tulsa on March 18.
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
Nine of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll released on March 3. They include: Florida (1), Oregon (2), Michigan (T-3), Oklahoma (6), Louisiana-Lafayette (7), Minnesota (16), UCF (20), Missouri (21) and NC State (25).
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman and senior Megan Blank delivered back-to-back home runs in the top of the fourth inning to help Iowa register a 12-11 victory over Cal State Fullerton on March 7. Gyerman’s three-run blast was the first of her career, while Blank’s was the 19th of her career and first of the season. It marked the first time Iowa recorded back-to-back home runs since April 21, 2013.
BLANK SHINES IN HOME STATE
Senior Megan Blank led the Hawkeyes in batting average (.533), slugging percentage (.867), and on-base percentage (.563) in five games at the Judi Garman Classic on March 5-8. The Culver City, California, native registered eight hits in 15 at bats with five singles, two doubles and a solo home run. Blank recorded multiple hits in three of the five games, including a 3-for-3 effort against San Jose State on March 6.
CAREER GAME FOR GYERMAN
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman registered the first two home runs of her career against Cal State Fullerton on March 7. The San Pedro, California, native sent a three-run shot over the center field fence in the top of the fourth inning before putting a solo shot over the left field wall in the top of the seventh. Gyerman recorded a career high four RBIs and tied her career high in hits (3) and runs scored (3).
Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten in fielding double plays. The Hawkeyes have turned 11 double plays on the season, including two against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 20.
The Hawkeyes are tied for fourth in the Big Ten in doubles. Iowa has recorded 31 doubles on the season. Senior Megan Blank leads the team with six, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman, sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey, redshirt junior Holly Hoffman and junior Whitney Repole each have three.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (79) and ties for third in batters struck out looking (19). 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 79 strikeouts in 88.2 innings this season. Starkenburg has already registered more strikeouts than she did in 20 appearances last season (51).
WOOD HEATS UP
Freshman Allie Wood posted a .333 clip in five games at the Judi Garman Classic on March 5-8. The Cypress, California, native recorded five hits in 15 at bats. Wood notched her first career home run against San Jose State on March 6.
SCOUTING EAST CAROLINA
East Carolina owns a 7-16 record this season. The Pirates finished 28-20 overall and 14-10 in the American Athletic Conference in 2014. The all-time series is currently tied at one game apiece.
No. 6 Oklahoma holds an 18-3 record this season. The Sooners finished 51-13 last season and won the Big-12 with a 16-2 record. Oklahoma advanced to the Women’s College World Series before falling, 4-2, to Oregon. The Sooners hold a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series.
SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma State is 9-12 on the season. The Cowgirls finished 30-26 overall and 6-12 in the Big-12 in 2014. Oklahoma State currently leads the all-time series, 12-4.
The Golden Hurricanes are 12-7 this season. Tulsa posted a 53-9 overall record last season and won the Conference USA regular season (19-4) and tournament titles. Tulsa advanced to its fourth straight NCAA Regional. The all-time series is currently tied at one game apiece.
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.
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.
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.
NEWCOMERS SEE SUCCESS
-Freshman Cheyenne Pratt has started every game this season. She currently owns a .309 slugging percentage and a .250 clip.
–Sarah Kurtz has started 20 games 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 nine games in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She notched her first career win against Northern Iowa on Feb. 6, and is 2-6 on the season.
-Freshman Allie Wood has started 20 games in right field for the Hawkeyes. She recorded a .333 clip in five games and hit her first career home run at the Judi Garman Classic.
-Freshman Angela Schmiederer has started 11 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.
-Career runs scored: Tied for 14th all-time (102)
-Career hits: 12th all-time (200)
-Career doubles: 4th all-time (49)
-Career triples: tied for 10th all-time (10), 1 from tying for 7th (11)
-Career HR: 8th all-time (19), 1 from tying for 7th (20)
-Career RBI: 7th all-time (126)
-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. 16 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 1258-768-5 (.621) record in 37 seasons.