The University of Iowa softball team returns to Pearl Field for its regular season series finale Friday-Sunday against Northwestern. Friday’s game begins at 6 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s game is slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch, with Sunday’s Senior Day game scheduled for 1 p.m.
- Pink Game- FREE pink softballs while supplies last
- Post game fireworks
- Alumni Day
- Post Game – Kids run the bases
- Senior Day (Elizabeth Wiegand, Claire Fritsch, Kaitlyn Mullarkey, Shayla Starkenburg)
- All three games of the weekend series will be live streamed on BTN Plus. A direct link is on the softball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Live stats for each contest is on the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
- Live audio is available for all Big Ten games on Hawkeye All-Access at hawkeyesports.com.
Follow the Hawkeyes
For all of the latest news and information on Iowa softball, visit hawkeyesports.com. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at Facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball and @iowasoftball on Twitter and Instagram.
Big Ten Tournament
With an 8-12 league record, Iowa has secured a spot in the Big Ten Tournament. The top 12 teams make the Big Ten Tournament and Iowa has a three-game lead over 13th-place Rutgers. If Rutgers sweeps its series against Michigan this weekend to conclude the regular season with an 8-15 record and Iowa finishes with an 8-15 mark, the tournament rules state “The winner of the game or series of games between the two teams shall receive the higher seeding spot.” Iowa won the series against Rutgers, 2-1.
Michigan will host the 2017 Big Ten Softball Tournament Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13, at the Wilpon Complex. The game times and opponents will be announced following the conclusion of the regular season.
- Iowa has won three series in league action with a 2-1 series victory over Purdue, a 2-0 series win over Nebraska, and a 2-1 series victory over Rutgers.
- Doocy’s Dominance
- Freshman pitcher Allison Doocy leads the team with 115 strikeouts.
- Doocy had a career-high 10 strikeouts in a one-hit shutout victory over Rutgers in the series opener April 14.
- After posting a 3-1 record and a 0.78 ERA from April 11-16, Doocy was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She is the first Hawkeye to receive the honor since Megan Blank on April 9, 2012.
Hot Hitting Thompson
- Lea Thompson is currently on a team-high, seven-game reached base streak.
- Thompson leads the team with 12 sacrifice hits.
- The freshman was a perfect 3-for-3 over two games against Missouri on March 15.
- She hit her first triple of the season against the Tigers, her first double against Valparaiso on March 17, and tallied a game-winning two-RBI double at Ohio State on April 30.
- Northwestern is 20-27 overall and 7-12 in conference action after being swept in a three-game series at Nebraska on April 28-29. The Wildcats dropped a 4-3 decision, a 7-4 decision, and a 5-4, eight-inning decision to the Huskers.
- The Wildcats lead the league and rank 42nd in the nation in stolen bases per game with 1.53. Overall, Northwestern has 73 stolen bases.
- Sabrina Rabin has 0.53 stolen bases per game, good for first in the Big Ten and 55th in the nation. She leads the team with 21 stolen bases.
- Iowa is 52-58 all-time against Northwestern. The teams last faced each other on April 9-10, 2016, when the Wildcats swept a three-game series. The Hawkeyes last defeated the Wildcats, 8-6, on May 3, 2015.
- Kaitlyn Mullarkey leads Iowa in hits (34), RBIs (16), doubles (11), and hit by pitches (15). She ties for the lead in runs (18). Defensively, she leads the team with 291 putouts.
- Mullarkey has 16 career home runs to tie for 13th in program history.
- With 11 doubles this season, Mullarkey has 31 in her career, which ties for 15th in program history.
- Mullarkey ties for second on the team with eight multi-hit games and leads the team with four multi-RBI games.
I’ll Take Pratt
- Cheyenne Pratt is 8-11 in swiping stolen bases this season, which is a personal-best single season mark. She is 14-17 in her career.
- Pratt had a career-high two stolen bases against Texas Tech.
- After going 2-for-3 in the win over Western Illinois, Pratt ties for second on the team with eight multi-hit games.
- With 11 extra-base hits, Brooke Rozier leads the team with a .439 slugging percentage. She leads the team with two triples and four home runs.
- Rozier hit her second triple of the season against No. 20 Arizona State. The redshirt freshman is two triples away from landing in the top 20 in single season triples.
- Rozier’s home run against Drake (May 2) was the fourth of her career.
- Senior Claire Fritsch exploded at the plate in the Hawkeye Invitational, going 6-for-7 with three doubles, three runs scored, and an RBI over a three-game stretch.
- Fritsch was a perfect 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI against South Dakota State on March 18. On March 20 against the Jackrabbits, the Round Rock, Texas, native was a perfect 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored.
- Fritsch also went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, and a stolen base against Creighton on March 19.
- Overall, Fritsch has five multi-hit games and a multi-RBI game.
- Five of Iowa’s 2017 opponents are currently ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll: Florida (1) Minnesota (4), Washington (8), Illinois (22), and Arizona State (23). Cal, Ohio State, Texas State, Missouri, and Wisconsin also received votes.
- Four foes are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll: Florida (1), Minnesota (4), Washington (7), and Arizona State (22). Illinois, Texas State, Missouri, and Wisconsin also received votes.
In the Rankings – B1G
- Three Big Ten teams are currently ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Minnesota leads the league at No. 4, while Michigan is No. 17. Illinois rounds out the rankings at No. 22. Ohio State and Wisconsin also received votes.
- Two Big Ten teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll. Minnesota lands at No. 4, while Michigan is ranked 19th. Illinois and Wisconsin also received votes.
A Challenging Schedule
Iowa’s 2017 schedule includes 12 opponents who reached the 2016 NCAA Regionals, three of which also reached the 2016 Super Regionals. Texas State, Florida, Fresno State, Washington, Arizona State, Cal, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Western Illinois and Northwestern all reached Regionals, while Florida, Washington and Missouri each advanced to the Super Regionals.
In the Record Books
- Kaitlyn Mullarkey hit nine home runs in 2016, which tied for eighth in program history.
- With 16 career blasts, Mullarkey is tied for 13th on Iowa’s all-time career home run list. Her next home run will move her into a tie for 10th in program history.
Around the Big Ten
- Iowa leads the conference in double plays per game with a 0.52 average (24 overall).
- The Hawkeyes are No. 5 in earned run average (2.89).
- Allison Doocy is No. 5 in the league with 115 strikeouts.
In the Nation
- Iowa’s 0.52 double plays per game rank 13th in the nation. The team has 24 double plays.
Back in Black (and Gold)
- Megan Blank enters her first season as a volunteer assistant coach. She joins the Hawkeyes after two seasons with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch Association and one season as a volunteer assistant at Northwestern. Blank, who recently signed for her third season with the Bandits, was one of the most decorated softball players in Iowa’s history.
- Blank, a four-time All-Big Ten first team selection, had a standout career with the Hawkeyes. Blank played and started at shortstop in every game of her collegiate career. She broke or tied five school records and finished in the top 10 in 12 statistical records.
Other Staff Additions
- Daniel Gratz is in his first year on the University of Iowa softball staff as the director of operations.
- Gratz joins the Hawkeyes after spending three seasons as head coach at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School. He also worked as assistant coach this past season for John Wood Community College.
- His accomplishments at Kennedy led Gratz to be named 2016 Conference Coach of the Year (Missouri Valley Conference) and 2016 District Coach of the Year (Iowa 5A – East District).
The Hawkeyes will once again produce their blog, The Dugout, for the 2017 season. The blog provides fans the opportunity to connect with the student-athletes, coaches, staff and alumni around the Hawkeye softball program. The Dugout aims to deliver a unique insight into the lives of the Iowa softball team. Each week, The Dugout features a different softball student-athlete, coach or alum. To see the latest post, visit hawkeyesports.com.
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).
The Golden Herkys
The Hawkeyes earned the Community Service Award at the Golden Herkys, the annual award ceremony for the University of Iowa athletics department. The softball team has completed more community service hours than any other Iowa team.