March 20, 2015
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The University of Iowa softball team (9-20) hosts Maryland in its Big Ten and home opener this weekend. The series begins with a 4 p.m. (CT) game Friday, continues with a 2 p.m. (CT) contest Saturday, and concludes with a 1 p.m. (CT) game Sunday.
SEE IT LIVE
Fans can watch all three games of the series online. Friday and Saturday contests will be streamed on Hawkeye All-Access available at hawkeyesports.com, while Sunday’s game will be shown on BTN Plus online at btn2go.com.
Audio for every game this weekend will be available on Hawkeye All-Access online at hawkeyesports.com. Jon Swisher will have the call on Friday, with Rob Brooks taking the reins for Saturday and Sunday broadcasts. Gametracker is also available for all games at Pearl Field. Links can be accessed on the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
To receive more frequent game updates, follow @IowaSoftball on Twitter and “like” our official page on Facebook, facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball.
? Friday: The first100 fans will receive free gold pom poms and free hot chocolate will be given away for the first 150 fans.
? Saturday: The first 250 fans at Saturday’s game will receive Iowa Softball trading cards. Kids will be allowed to run the bases following the game.
? Sunday: Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite baseball/softball team’s hat on Sunday. Free Iowa Softball visors will be given to the first 100 fans, and one lucky hat wearer will win a prize. The Hawkeyes will be available for autographs following the game.
Season tickets are now available for the 2015 Iowa softball regular season. Prices are $20 for reserved season tickets, $15 for general admission (public), and $12 for general admission (faculty). Single game tickets are also available for $5. Youth — ages 18 or younger — can attend Hawkeye softball games for free.
To purchase season tickets, visit the UI Athletics Ticket Office inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, call 1-800-IA-HAWKS, or go to hawkeyesports.com.
TAKING ON THE BEST
Nine of Iowa’s 2015 opponents are ranked in the most recent release of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll (March 17). They include: Oregon (1), Florida (3), Michigan (4), Oklahoma (6), Louisiana Lafayette (7), Minnesota (15), Missouri (19), UCF (20), North Carolina State (RV).
Megan Blank is currently riding a10-game hitting streak. The senior has notched a .545 clip, a .970 slugging percentage and a .571 on base percentage in the last 10 games. The Culver City, California, native has registered 18 hits in 33 at bats since March 7. Eight of her 18 hits have been for extra bases (5 doubles; 3 home runs).
? Career runs scored: Tied for 14th all-time (106)
? Career hits: 10th all-time (213)
? Career doubles: Tied for school record (52) with Kari Knopf (1994-97)
? Career triples: tied for 10th all-time (10), 1 from tying for 7th (11)
? Career HR: 7th all-time (21)
? Career RBI: 7th all-time (130)
? Career Average: 2nd all-time (.402), Lea Twigg (1996-97) is the record holder with a .409 batting average
? Doubles in a season: 17 in 2012, tied for 4th all-time; 15 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)
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman and senior Megan Blank registered back-to-back home runs to help Iowa secure a 7-6 victory over Tulsa on March 18. The feat marked the second time the duo has gone back-to-back this season (Cal State Fullerton, 3/7/15).
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman has notched four home runs this season. All four of her home runs have come in pairs. The San Pedro, California, native hit a pair of long balls against Cal State Fullerton on March 7 before recording two bombs versus Tulsa on March 13.
CAREER GAME FOR GYERMAN
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman registered the third and fourth home runs of her career against Tulsa on March 18. The San Pedro, California, native sent a solo bomb to left field in the top of the third before putting a three-run shot over the fence in left center in the top of the fifth. Gyerman tied career highs in RBIs (4), hits (3) and home runs (2).
HOFFMAN GOES YARD
Redshirt junior Holly Hoffman sent a solo home run to left center against Oklahoma on March 15. The bomb was the fourth of her career and first of the season. Hoffman went 2-for-3 in the game with a single and a home run.
BLANK IN THE B1G
Megan Blank is currently ranked among the top ten in the conference in four different categories. Blank is tied for second in the Big Ten in doubles (9), third in hits (36), ninth in batting average (.424) and 10th in total bases (54).
Iowa leads the Big Ten in fielding double plays. The Hawkeyes have turned 15 double plays on the season. They have recorded two double plays in a game three times: No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (Feb. 20), No. 6 Oklahoma (March 15) and Tulsa (March 18).
The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten in doubles. Iowa has recorded 41 doubles on the season. Senior Megan Blank leads the team with nine, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman has five.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (98) and third in batters struck out looking (27). Starkenburg has fanned a career high nine batters twice this season (Florida A&M on March 1; East Carolina on March 14. She recorded her first career no-hitter against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. The Ankeny, Iowa, native has 98 strikeouts in 116.0 innings this season. Starkenburg has already registered more strikeouts than she did in 20 appearances last season (51).
Holly Hoffman is currently tied for ninth in the Big Ten in runners caught stealing. The redshirt junior has gunned down five runners this season, including two against Oklahoma State on March 17.
Maryland currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a 17-11 overall record. The Terrapins are entering their first season in the Big Ten. They posted an 11-35 overall record last season and finished ninth in the ACC at 7-16. Iowa holds a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting, 9-4, on March 9, 2013.
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.
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 1260-773-5 (.621) record in 37 seasons.