April 14, 2015
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Iowa and Iowa State will play the annual Iowa Cy-Hawk Series game at Pearl Field in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 15. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. (CT). Fans are encouraged to wear black Hawkeye gear for the Blackout contest.
? Blackout – Wear your black Hawkeye gear to the game.
? Student Night – Hawks Nest Tailgate before the game. Free pizza and drinks with lawn games for Iowa students. Students will have the chance to win a $50 VISA gift card.
? Hospitality Day.
? Tax Day – Two for one admission prices.
? The first 250 fans at the game will receive free eye black.
The annual Iowa Cy-Hawk Series matchup against Iowa State will be shown live online on BTN Plus available at btn2go.com. Live audio of the game is also available on Hawkeye All-Access with Rob Brooks on the call. Links to audio and Gametracker (live stats) are available on the softball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com.
IOWA CORN CY-HAWK SERIES RUNDOWN
? Iowa trails Iowa State in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, 13-11, before Wednesday’s softball game.
? With a win over the Cyclones at Pearl Field, Iowa can tie the series, 13-13, after initially falling behind 11-0 in the fall.
Each institution has claimed the series on five occasions since its inception in 2004.
? The Hawkeyes have clinched victories in wrestling, women’s basketball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, and women’s gymnastics. Iowa has also clinched the academic point.
? Iowa holds a 32-28-2 advantage in the all-time softball series, with the last contest ending in a 6-6 tie.
LOOKING BACK: AN UNCONVENTIONAL CONTEST
The Hawkeyes and Cyclones played to an unconventional result in the series in 2014. The teams played through rain, endured a significant weather delay, and saw the game end in a 6-6 tie after five innings due to darkness in Ames, Iowa. The Hawkeyes hit a season-high four home runs in the abbreviated contest. Both teams posted the same amount of runs (6), hits (7), and errors (1).
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 (April 14). They include: Oregon (1), Florida (2), Michigan (4), Oklahoma (5), Louisiana Lafayette (9), Minnesota (13), UCF (15), Missouri (20), and North Dakota State (RV). The Hawkeyes have played 10 games against opponents ranked in the top six this season.
SCOUTING IOWA STATE
? Iowa holds a 32-28-2 advantage in the all-time series.
? Iowa State enters this week with a 20-17 record overall and a 1-5 mark in Big 12 action.
? Five Cyclones are hitting .300+ including, Brittany Gomez (.446), Aly Cappaert (.354), Hope Schefert (.333), Lexi Slater (.316), and Rachel Hartman (.308).
B1G SERIES VICTORY
The Hawkeyes clinched their first Big Ten series win, 2-1, over Wisconsin on April 10-12. Iowa took the first game of the series in run-rule fashion. The Hawkeyes used a 10-run first inning to jump ahead and eventually secure a 16-4 victory in five innings. After falling 5-4 in game two, the Hawkeyes outlasted the Badgers, 3-2, in 10 innings in game three. Senior Megan Blank hit the go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th to clinch the series victory.
Megan Blank’s 25th career home run was one to remember. The senior recorded the go-ahead blast in the top of the 10th inning at Wisconsin on April 12 to secure the conference series victory. Blank currently leads the team with seven home runs this season, and is fourth all-time in career home runs.
STARKENBURG COMES UP B1G
Shayla Starkenburg threw a career-high 10 innings and fanned a career-high 11 batters in Iowa’s 10-inning win over the Badgers on April 12. The redshirt sophomore gave up three earned runs on 13 hits and two walks. The Ankeny, Iowa, native leads the Hawkeyes in wins (12), ERA (5.07), appearances (37), starts (27), complete games (21), shutouts (3), and strikeouts (148) this season.
Sarah Kurtz tallied six walks in three games against Wisconsin on April 10-12. The freshman recorded a .727 on base percentage over the three game series, and reached base successfully at least two times in all three contests.
HOFFMAN PLATES 5
Holly Hoffman plated five runs in a three games against Wisconsin on April 10-12. The redshirt junior recorded a .462 clip with six hits in 13 at bats. Senior Megan Blank (32), redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman (31), and Hoffman (23) lead the Hawkeyes in RBIs this season.
GYERMAN MAKES HISTORY
Sammi Gyerman hit for the cycle to lead the Hawkeyes past the Illini, 15-7 after five innings, on April 3. The redshirt sophomore recorded double and a triple in Iowa’s nine-run first inning before hitting a home run in the third and a single in the fourth. The San Pedro, California, native, became the first Hawkeye in school history to hit for the cycle and just the third player in the Big Ten to accomplish the feat. Gyerman posted career bests in hits (4), RBIs (6) and runs scored (3) in the contest.
OFFENSE ON THE RISE
The Hawkeyes have enjoyed a jump offensively from 2014 to 2015 under new hitting coach Adam Arbour. Iowa has improved in batting average (.250 to .275), slugging percentage (.376 to .409), on-base percentage (.321 to .357), doubles (59 to 67), home runs (23 to 26), RBIs (122 to 179), walks (97 to 127), runs scored (141 to 198) and runs per game (3.0 to 4.4).
Five Hawkeyes are hitting .300+ in conference play. Senior Megan Blank leads the team with a .452 clip, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman (.438) and freshman Angela Schmiederer (.400) join her in the 400s. Redshirt junior Holly Hoffman (.372) and freshman Allie Wood (.308) have each recorded .300+ clips in 14 conference contests this season.
INCREASE IN SPEED
Iowa swiped a season-high four bases against Western Illinois on April 2. Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman stole a pair, while senior Megan Blank and sophomore Claire Fritsch each stole one. Prior to the Thursday contest, the Hawkeyes had just eight stolen bases on the season.
UPSET IN ANN ARBOR
The Hawkeyes handed the No. 4 Wolverines their fifth loss of the season with a come-from-behind victory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on March 29. Down four runs in the top of the sixth, Iowa scored three runs off of a pair of home runs by redshirt junior Holly Hoffman and freshman Allie Wood. The Hawkeyes continued their rally in the seventh when sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey capitalized on an RBI opportunity with a double down the right line to give Iowa a 5-4 lead. The Hawkeyes added an insurance run on a RBI ground out from Wood to take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. After a Wolverine reached on a single to start the seventh, Iowa used a 4-6-3 double play to silence the scoring chance and ultimately secure the upset victory.
STARKENBURG TROUBLES NO. 4 WOLVERINES
Redshirt sophomore pitcher Shayla Starkenburg limited the Wolverines to just four hits in the first game of a doubleheader on March 28. Only three other teams have held Michigan to four hits or less this season. They include: then-ranked No. 1 Florida (2 hits), Kent State (3 hits) and Illinois State (4 hits). The Ankeny, Iowa, native registered a complete-game upset win on March 29. After a rocky first inning Starkenburg settled in and allowed just one run in her final six innings of work and did not allow a Wolverine hit in four of her final six innings.
Senior Megan Blank has just eight strikeouts in 134 at bats this season. Blank currently leads the team in batting average (.433), slugging percentage (.716), and on base percentage (.503).
? Career runs scored: 8th all-time (122)
? Career hits: 6th all-time (235)
? Career doubles: School record holder (56)
? Career triples: Tied for 4th all-time (12)
? Career HR: 4th all-time (25)
? Career RBI: 3rd all-time (145)
? Career Average: 2nd all-time (.405), 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)
Iowa leads the Big Ten Conference in double plays with 23 on the season. The Hawkeyes have recorded two double plays in a game six times: No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (Feb. 20), No. 6 Oklahoma (March 15), Tulsa (March 18), Nebraska (March 25), No. 4 Michigan (March 29), and Illinois (April 4).
BLANK IN THE B1G
Megan Blank is currently ranked among the top five in the conference in four different categories. The senior ranks second in the Big Ten hits (58), is third in doubles (13), ranks third in batting average (.433), and is fourth in total bases (96).
The Hawkeyes are tied for third in the Big Ten in doubles. Iowa has recorded 67 doubles on the season. Senior Megan Blank, the career doubles school record holder, leads the team with 13, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman has 10.
Iowa is ranked ninth in the Big Ten in hits. Iowa has accumulated 324 hits in 45 contests this season. Senior Megan Blank leads the team with 58 hits, while redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman has 51.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in batters struck out (148) and third in batters struck out looking (42). Starkenburg fanned a career high 11 batters in Iowa’s 3-2 10-inning victory over Wisconsin on April 12. She has struck out nine batters twice this season (Florida A&M on March 1; East Carolina on March 14. Starkenburg recorded her first career no-hitter against Southern Utah on Feb. 7. The Ankeny, Iowa, native has 148 strikeouts in 176.2 innings this season.
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).
BLANK MAKES HISTORY
Senior Megan Blank recorded her 53rd career double against Nebraska on March 25 to break Iowa’s 18-year-old career doubles record. Blank is now in sole possession of the Iowa softball career doubles record with 55. The previous record of 52 was set by Kari Knopf in 1997.
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 on 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.
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.
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.
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 1262-781-5 (.618) record in 37 seasons.