Feb. 13, 2014
The Hawkeyes head to Waco, Texas, to play five games as part of the Getterman Classic over the weekend, Feb. 14-16. Iowa faces Lipscomb and #14/18 Missouri on Friday, UAB and No. 14/16 Baylor on Saturday, and Drake on Sunday. The Bears are the host of the three-day tournament.
KEEP UP WITH THE ACTION
UI softball fans can follow along with each game through live stats (Gametracker). The "GT" link can be accessed under the "Calendar" tab on the front page of hawkeyesports.com or on the softball schedule page. For in-game updates and game delay information, follow @IowaSoftball on Twitter and "like" our official page on Facebook, facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball. A tournament central page, where fans can access information on each team, is available at baylorbears.com.
Iowa will play its games against Lipscomb, Baylor, and Drake at Getterman Softball Stadium -- the home field of the Baylor Bears. All other contests will be played at an alternate site in Waco, Texas -- SW Region Little League Complex. The address is 3700 S. University Parks Drive.
Lipscomb leads Iowa in the all-time series, 2-0. The last game played between the two schools occurred on Feb. 8, 2013, a 4-0 Lipscomb victory.
Iowa trails Missouri, 12-6, in the all-time series. The teams last met in a double header in Columbia, Mo., on March 21, 2012. The Tigers won both, 8-0 (five innings) and 2-0.
Iowa and UAB will meet for the first time in school history this weekend.
Iowa trails Baylor, 2-0, in the all-time series. The Bears defeated the Hawkeyes, 4-0, in the last meeting on Feb. 10, 2012.
Iowa leads Drake, 34-10, in the all-time series. The Hawkeyes topped the Bulldogs, 18-0 (5 innings), in the last meeting on April 3, 2013.
SWINGING HOT BATS
The Hawkeye offense got off to a hot start to the 2014 season in the opening weekend. As a team, Iowa is out-performing its opponents in batting average (.295-to-.237), slugging percentage (.429-to-.351), on-base percentage (.370-to-.353), runs (17-to-13), hits (31-to-23), extra base hits (9-to-7), and RBIs (14-to-11). Six Hawkeyes are hitting at a clip above .300 including: Erin Erickson (.417), Megan Blank (.333), Holly Hoffman (.333), Alyssa Navarro (.333), Sammi Gyerman (.333), and Brianna Luna (.333).
A STELLAR DEBUT
Redshirt freshman Shayla Starkenburg made a successful Hawkeye debut at last weekend's Carolina Classic. The right-handed pitcher collected the first start, win, shutout, and one-hitter of her Hawkeye career in Iowa's first game of 2014 against UNC Greensboro on Feb. 7. Her no-hit bid held until midway through the sixth, when UNCG recorded a single. She recorded five strikeouts in her seven innings pitched. Starkenburg made her second appearance of the season in relief against Presbyterian. She entered the contest in a bases loaded situation with two outs and an Iowa lead to protect. With the game on the line, Starkenburg ended the threat, forcing a ground out to end the game in Iowa's favor 6-3 and record her first career save. Starkenburg made her third and final appearance against Ohio in relief. She held the Bobcats hitless and scoreless. On the weekend, Starkenburg posted 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA, and five strikeouts. She gave up just one hit, holding her opponents to a .043 batting average.
The Hawkeyes posted a season-high 12 hits and matched a season-high with six runs in the Carolina Classic finale against Ohio. Eight of nine Hawkeyes in the hitting lineup recorded a hit, while four -- Megan Blank, Erin Erickson, Sammi Gyerman and Holly Hoffman -- turned in a multiple hit performance. Of Iowa's 12 total hits, five went for extra bases. Erickson, Michelle Zoeller and Massey tallied doubles, while Blank and Gyerman each legged out a triple in the action. The Bobcats -- who also posted 12 hits -- recorded the final win, 9-6.
YOUNGSTERS RECEIVE STARTING NOD
Freshmen Claire Fritsch and Alyssa Navarro received the starting nod from fourth-year head coach Marla Looper on the opening weekend. Fritsch started and played all four games at second base -- anchoring the middle infield with veteran shortstop Megan Blank. She finished the weekend with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, eight putouts, and 13 assists. Offensively, Fritsch went 1-for-5 with two RBIs, two walks, a sacrifice fly, and two stolen bases. Navarro started and played all four contests at first base, recording 27 putouts, one assist, and a .966 fielding percentage. Offensively, Navarro went 4-for 12 with a walk, hit by pitch, and stolen base.
IN PURSUIT OF 100
Fourth-year head coach Marla Looper has a career coaching record of 86-76 (.531). She is just 14 wins from achieving her 100th win as a head coach. Looper recorded 27 wins in 2011, 27 wins in 2012, and added 30 wins in 2013. Her 30 wins last season was the highest win total since 2009 when the Hawkeyes posted a 42-19 mark.
A trio of Hawkeyes -- Claire Fritsch, Michaela Johnson, and Whitney Repole -- will be playing on their home turf at this weekend's Getterman Classic. Fritsch of Round Rock, Johnson of Wake Village, and Repole of San Antonio are all Texas natives.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS RUNDOWN
College Sports Madness recognized Iowa softball on several occasions in the preseason. The Hawkeyes were named the No. 40 team in the country by the site on Jan. 9. College Sports Madness also recognized shortstop Megan Blank as a preseason first team All-Big Ten and preseason second team All-American in February.
2014 BIG TEN STANDINGS
Shayla Starkenburg leads the conference in ERA (0.00), opposing batting average (.043), saves (1), hits allowed (1), runs allowed (0), earned runs allowed (0), doubles allowed (0), triples allowed (0), and home runs allowed (0). She is also second in games finished (2), and fourth in appearances (3) and games in relief (2).
Holly Hoffman leads the conference in caught stealing (3) and steal attempts against (5).
Erin Erickson is fourth in doubles (2), seventh in home runs (1), eighth in slugging percentage (.833), and 11th in total bases (10).
Sammi Gyerman leads the conference in triples (2), is third in sacrifice bunts (1), and 11th in slugging percentage (.778).
Alyssa Navarro is fourth in hit by pitches (1), seventh in chances (29) and putouts (27), and 10th in stolen bases (1).
Megan Blank is fourth in triples (1), sixth in assists (11), and 11th in walks (3).
Michelle Zoeller is third in sacrifice bunts (1) and 10th in stolen bases (1).
Claire Fritsch leads the conference in sacrifice flies (1), is third in stolen bases (2), assists (13, and fielding double plays (2), and fourth in steal attempts (2).
TAKING ON THE BEST
The 2014 UI schedule is full of quality opponents. The Hawkeyes will face No. 8/9 Nebraska three times, No. 15/16 Texas three times, No. 14/18 Missouri three times, No. 22/24 Minnesota twice, and No. 14/16 Baylor and No. 22/24 Arizona once. The Hawkeyes will also take on Wisconsin three times and Northern Iowa, Lipscomb, and UAB once -- all of whom are receiving votes in at least one of the polls (USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll or the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll). In 2013, the Hawkeyes topped six ranked foes, including: No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette (13-10), No. 15 Stanford (7-6), No. 24 Oregon State (9-3), No. 11 Louisville (6-2), No. 21 Kentucky (3-1), and No. 19 Nebraska (6-2).
MEET THE HAWKEYES
This year's Hawkeye roster is comprised of seniors Brianna Luna, Kayla Massey and Michelle Zoeller; junior Megan Blank; sophomores Erin Erickson, Micaela Whitney, Whitney Repole, Sammi Gyerman, Haley Hansel, and Holly Hoffman, and freshmen Alyssa Navarro, Claire Fritsch, Kaitlyn Mullarkey, Kara Misel, Shayla Starkenburg, and Michaela Johnson. Iowa is led by fourth-year head coach Marla Looper, assistants Adrianna Baggetta and Stacy May-Johnson, and volunteer assistant Chelsey Carmody.
Hawkeye junior Megan Blank appeared on the Top 50 Watch List for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year released on Jan. 29, 2014. The shortstop -- making the list for the first time in her career -- is 1-of-7 student-athletes from the Big Ten and 1-of-20 juniors included in the Top 50. The list is narrowed to the top 25 on April 9, the top 10 on May 7, and the top 3 on May 21. The 2014 Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced prior to the start of the Women's College World Series on May 27. The award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
A NEW BATTING LEADER
Megan Blank hit .437 in 2013, setting Iowa's single season batting average record. The previous record was .428, set by Kim Davis in 1993. Her career average is .413, also marking the highest in program history. Blank's 59 RBIs in 2013 mark the second-highest single-season total in program history. Debbie Bilbao posted a school record 61 RBIs in 1997. Blank also belted 11 home runs in 2013 -- the third-highest single-season total.
B1G TOURNEY RETURNS IN 2013
The Big Ten Tournament returned in 2013 for the first time since 2008. The Hawkeyes have claimed two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003) and won 21 games in the event all-time -- the second most of any team. The conference tournament was discontinued from 2009-12. Iowa fell to Ohio State, 8-4, in the first round at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. The Hawkeyes held a 4-1 advantage moving to the bottom of the fifth before the Buckeyes plated six runs to rally for the victory.
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 continues the season on the road in warmer climates next weekend, Feb. 21-23 with a three-game series against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. The Hawkeyes will face the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday, and conclude the series with an 11 a.m. contest on Sunday.