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The 11th-seeded University of Iowa softball team is set to face No. 6 Wisconsin on Thursday at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Wilpon Complex in the 2017 Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The winner will face third-seeded Ohio State in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m.
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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.
- All games of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament will be carried live on Big Ten Network and will be available live via BTN2Go to fans with a BTN subscription through their cable provider. 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.
2017 Big Ten Tournament
- Michigan hosts the 2017 Big Ten Softball Tournament Thursday through Saturday, May 11-13, at the Wilpon Complex. Games will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday.
- The 2017 Big Ten Tournament will be single-elimination.
- During Iowa’s last Big Ten Tournament appearance in 2015, the Hawkeyes defeated Rutgers (5-3) in round one before upsetting second-seeded Minnesota (2-0) to earn a berth in the semifinal round.
Big Ten Tournament tickets are on sale through the Michigan Ticket Office. Tickets are sold out for Friday (May 12) and Saturday (May 13), but are still available for Thursday (May 11).
Spectators must purchase a ticket for each day of play. A ticket purchased for one of the three days will be good for all of the games played on that day. All guests must have a ticket to enter.
Chairback — $12
Reserved Bleacher — $10
Outfield General Admission — $8
Contact the Michigan Ticket Office at (734) 764-0247 or (866) 296-MTIX, or email email@example.com.
Big Ten Tournament History
This is the 20th Big Ten Tournament appearance for the Hawkeyes, tying Michigan for the conference lead. The Hawkeyes have 23 Big Ten Tournament wins, which is the second most in the Big Ten Tournament history (Michigan has 39).
Iowa has won two Big Ten Tournament championships in program history:
- 2001 – The Hawkeyes won their first Big Ten Tournament championship in 2001 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Iowa opened the tournament with an 8-0, six-inning victory over Wisconsin. After dropping a 6-1 decision to Michigan, Iowa clinched the title with a 7-1 win over Illinois and a 2-1 win over Michigan.
- 2003 – Two years later Iowa hosted the tournament. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois (3-2) and then topped Northwestern twice (2-1, 2-0) to earn their second conference title in three years.
Iowa 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. The Hawkeyes finished tied for ninth in the regular season to earn a berth in the conference tournament.
- The Badgers are 32-14 overall and concluded the regular season with an 11-11 mark in conference action after sweeping Maryland in a three-game series May 5-7. Wisconsin won 8-3 in game one, 5-3 in game two, and 5-0 in the series finale.
- Wisconsin is fourth in the league and 21st nationally with a .396 on-base percentage.
- Chloe Miller is second in the league and No. 16 in the nation with a .526 on-base percentage.
- The Hawkeyes are 36-19 all-time against the Badgers.
- The Hawkeyes faced the Badgers in a three-game series April 7-8 in Madison, Wisconsin. After Wisconsin won the first game, 8-1, Iowa responded with a 4-3 victory to force a rubber match in game three. The Badgers secured the series with a 6-5, 10-inning win.
- Freshman pitcher Allison Doocy leads the team with 119 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, 10-game reached base streak.
- Thompson leads the team with 15 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.
- The freshman from Indianapolis, Indiana, smacked a triple in back-to-back games against Northwestern on May 6-7.
- The freshman is one triple away from landing in the top 20 in single season triples.
- Kaitlyn Mullarkey leads Iowa in hits (36), doubles (11), hit by pitches (18), and stolen bases (10). She ties for the lead in runs (20) and RBIs (16). Defensively, she leads the team with 313 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 leads the team with nine multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games.
I’ll Take Pratt
- Cheyenne Pratt is 9-12 in swiping stolen bases this season, which is a personal-best single season mark. She is 15-18 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 .419 slugging percentage. She leads the team with four home runs and is tied for second on the team with two triples.
- 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 at 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 seven 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 (3), Washington (9), Arizona State (22), and Ohio State (T24). Illinois, Wisconsin, Cal, and Texas State also received votes.
- Four foes are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll: Florida (1), Minnesota (2), Washington (8), and Arizona State (22). Missouri, Ohio State, Cal, Illinois, and Northern Iowa 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. 3, while Michigan is No. 17. Ohio State rounds out the rankings tied for 24th. Illinois and Wisconsin also received votes.
- Two Big Ten teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll. Minnesota lands at No. 2, while Michigan is ranked 17th. Ohio State and Illinois also received votes.
Around the Big Ten
- Iowa leads the conference in double plays per game with a 0.54 average (26 overall).
- The Hawkeyes are No. 5 in earned run average (2.89).
- Lea Thompson leads the Big Ten with 0.39 sacrifice hits per game (15 overall).
In the Nation
- Iowa’s 0.54 double plays per game rank 11th in the nation. The team has 26 double plays.
- Lea Thompson’s 0.39 sacrifice hits per game lead the nation. Overall, she has 15 sacrifice hits.
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.
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.