Iowa, Illinois Meet for 3-Game Set

April 28, 2016

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The University of Iowa softball team travels to Champaign, Illinois, for a three-game Big Ten Conference series against Illinois this weekend. The Hawkeyes and Fighting Illini will kick off the weekend with a 6 p.m. (CT) contest on Friday. The series will continue with a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, and conclude with a 12 p.m. match-up on Sunday.


Sunday’s contest will be shown live on BTN. Andy Masur and Garland Cooper will be on the call from Eichelberger Field. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (CT).

Friday and Saturday’s contests will be streamed live online via BTN Plus. To see if your cable package gives you access to BTN Plus content, sign up for BTN Plus, or learn more about it, visit

Live audio is available for all three contests on Hawkeye All-Access at Play-by-play announcer Austin Bramley will call the action from Champaign, Illinois. Live stats are also available on the softball schedule page on

•Illinois owns a 28-19 overall record and a 7-10 mark in Big Ten Conference action.
•Seven Fighting Illini are hitting above .300 on the season. Sophomore infielder Annie Fleming leads the team with a .353 clip in 47 games played this season.
•Junior Breanna Wonderly leads the Fighting Illini with a 3.20 ERA and a 12-9 record in the circle.

•Iowa owns a 21-16 advantage in the all-time series.
•The Fighting Illini took 2-of-3 games from the Hawkeyes last season in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes won the first contest 15-7 in five innings, before Illinois took games two (7-15) and three (7-12).

For an inside look at the Iowa softball program and access to exclusive coverage, follow @IowaSoftball on Twitter and “like” the official page on Facebook,

Four Big Ten teams appear in the Softball Division I Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll released on April 26. They include: No. 3 Michigan, No. 23 Minnesota, and No. 25 Ohio State. Nebraska is also receiving votes in the poll.

•Seven of Iowa’s 2016 opponents are coming off a 2015 NCAA Tournament appearance.
•Iowa is scheduled to play 15 games against those opponents this season.
•The teams include: Louisville, Texas, Nebraska, Northwestern, Missouri, Indiana State, and Minnesota.

Redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman hit for the cycle to lead the Hawkeyes past the Illini, 15-7, after five innings on April 3, 2015. The then-sophomore recorded a 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.

The Hawkeyes scored four runs in the third inning to defeat Penn State, 4-1, on Saturday, April 23. Redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman, redshirt senior Holly Hoffman, junior Claire Fritsch, and sophomore Sarah Kurtz each recorded hits in the inning, while Hoffman and Kurtz both plated a pair of runs.

Elizabeth Wiegand recorded a 1.56 ERA in nine innings pitched against Penn State last weekend. The junior earned the complete-game win in the circle on Saturday, April 23, allowing one earned run on five hits. She walked one and struck out two in seven innings of work.

Junior Claire Fritsch hit .625 in three games against the Nittany Lions last weekend. Fritsch registered five hits in eight at bats over the three game series. Freshman Mallory Kilian (.500), redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman (.444), and senior Whitney Repole (.429) also hit above .400 on the weekend.

Holly Hoffman is swinging the hot bat for the Hawkeyes in conference action. The redshirt senior is hitting .442 in Big Ten play. In 16 conference games, Hoffman is slugging .846. She has registered 12 extra-base hits (7 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 home runs) during that span.

Junior Elizabeth Wiegand registered the complete-game win over Wisconsin on April 16. After surrendering a pair of runs on four hits in the top of the first inning, Wiegand (6-9) settled in. The Moscow Mills, Missouri, native gave up just three hits in the final six innings, and tied her season-high with six strikeouts.

The Hawkeyes played in front of 2,192 fans at Pearl Field from April 15-17. The mark set a new three-game weekend series attendance record.

•Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey is tied for 14th on Iowa’s all-time list with eight home runs this season.
•Mullarkey’s 14 career blasts ties her for 18th on Iowa’s all-time career home runs list.

Down by two in the bottom of the seventh inning against Drake on April 13, junior Claire Fritsch started a two-out rally when she reached on an error by the Drake second baseman. It proved to be costly as junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey blasted the game-tying, two-run home run over the wall in left center to send the game into extras. Mullarkey came through with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, hitting a rocket off the glove of the Drake first baseman that scored the game-winning run.

The Hawkeyes put up six runs in the bottom of the fourth to defeat Northern Iowa on April 12. Sophomore Angela Schmiederer led off the inning with a single, before senior Whitney Repole and freshman Mallory Kilian were both hit by a pitch. Sophomore Sarah Kurtz came through with an RBI single to put the Hawkeyes on the board. After a wild pitch allowed Repole to score, Claire Fritsch reached on an error that plated Kilian. Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey followed with an RBI double to left, before redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman plated two more runs on a single up the middle.

•The Hawkeyes are tied for sixth in the conference with 48 stolen bases.
•Iowa pitchers have struck out 82 batters looking this season — the second most in the Big Ten.
•Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey is tied for first in the Big Ten with 12 hit by pitches, fifth in triples (3), 12th in home runs (8), and 13th in stolen bases (12).
•Redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman is tied for fourth in the conference with three sacrifice flies this season.

•Iowa is tied for seventh in the conference with 15 stolen bases in Big Ten games.
•The Hawkeyes rank sixth in the Big Ten with 17 home runs in conference games this season.
•Iowa pitchers have struck out 26 batters looking in conference action — tied for the fourth most in the conference.
•Iowa has turned seven double plays in Big Ten action this season — the sixth-most in the conference.
•Senior Holly Hoffman ranks fifth in the Big Ten with a .542 batting average in conference games. Hoffman also ranks second in total bases (44), second in doubles (7), third in hits (23), sixth in slugging percentage (.846), and sixth in RBIs (18).

Sophomore Angela Schmiederer‘s two-run home run against Northwestern on April 9 hit the top of the roof of McGaw Hall — the building that sits beyond the left field wall at Drysdale Field in Evanston, Illinois. Schmiederer became the first opposing player in history to hit the roof of McGaw Hall.

The Hawkeyes registered four home runs in game one against Northwestern on April 9. Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey hit a two-run shot in the top of the first inning. One batter later, redshirt senior Holly Hoffman followed with a solo blast. Hoffman marked a new career high with her second blast of the game in the top of the fifth, before sophomore Angela Schmiederer hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh.

Holly Hoffman had a career game at the plate in game one of a doubleheader against Nebraska on April 6. The redshirt senior registered career-bests in hits (4) and doubles (2). The Osceola, Indiana, native went 4-for-4 with two singles, two doubles, and two RBIs.

After registering 11 extra-base hits in all of 2015 (59 games), junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey has hit 20 in 45 games this season. The Park Ridge, Illinois, native leads the team in home runs (8), and triples (3), and is tied for first on the team in doubles (9).

•After stealing 18 bags in all of 2015, Iowa has swiped 48 bases in 45 games this season.
•Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey leads the team with 12 stolen bases, while junior Claire Fritsch and sophomore Katy Taylor each have nine.

Sophomore Angela Schmiederer has registered 30 starts at three different positions this season. She has made 13 starts behind the plate, 15 in the outfield, and four as Iowa’s designated player. Ten of Schmiederer’s 26 hits this season have been for extra bases, including a game-winning grand slam against Lamar on March

Angela Schmiederer registered the game-winning grand slam against Lamar on March 6. The sophomore entered the game as a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth. After singling and scoring a run, Schmiederer remained in the game as Iowa’s offensive player. An RBI fielder’s choice and the game-winning grand slam followed. She registered a career-high five RBIs on the afternoon.

The Hawkeyes re-launched their blog, The Dugout, for the 2016 season. The blog will reach out to fans and provide them with the opportunity to connect with the student-athletes, coaches, and staff who work hard every day to make the Hawkeye softball program a success. The Dugout aims to deliver unique insight into the lives of the Iowa softball team. Each week, The Dugout will feature a different softball student-athlete. To see the latest post, visit

•Junior transfer Elizabeth Wiegand joins the team after spending two seasons with UT Martin. Wiegand appeared in 26 games with 21 starts for the Skyhawks in 2015. She led UT Martin in ERA (2.94), wins (12), appearances (26), starts (21), complete games (16), shutouts (3), innings pitched (135.2), and strikeouts (63) as a sophomore.
•Sophomore transfer Katy Taylor joins the Hawkeyes after spending a season at Labette Community College. Taylor helped the Cardinals to a 38-16 overall record and a Region VI Championship. She led the nation in stolen bases (89) and paced the Cardinals in hits (76), doubles (10), triples (3), walks (21), batting average (.435), and on base percentage (.485).
•Freshmen Erin Riding (pitcher), Mallory Kilian (pitcher/utility), and Brooke Rozier (catcher/utility) will all make their Hawkeye debuts in 2016.

Jake Schumann joined the Iowa softball staff on Aug. 5, 2015. Schumann will handle the Hawkeye offense. He joins the staff after spending last season as the associate head coach at Ole Miss. He has also served as the head coach at Florida International (2011-14), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2007-11), Texas A&M-Kingsville (2003-07), and Carl Albert State College (2001-03).
•Former Hawkeye Rachel West is Iowa’s new volunteer assistant coach. West appeared in 202 games for the Hawkeyes from 2005-09. The Burlington, Iowa, native still stands as one of the best base stealers in program history. West swiped 86 bags during her four-year career — a mark that ranks fourth in program history.
•Sharon Palma is in her first year as the director of operations for the Iowa softball program. The Grand Rapids, Michigan, native came to Iowa after spending the 2014 season as an assistant coach at Ole Miss. A former professional pitcher for the Carolina Diamonds in the National Pro Fastpitch League, Palma has also spent time as an assistant coach at Florida International (2014) and IUPUI (2013), and a volunteer assistant coach at Michigan State (2012).

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 1282-821-5 (.610) record in 38 seasons.

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