Hawkeyes, Huskers Set for B1G Showdown - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Hawkeyes, Huskers Set for B1G Showdown
Iowa and #19 Nebraska open 3-game set at Pearl Field on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Senior Ashley Akers and the Hawkeyes return home to continue Big Ten action this weekend, hosting No. 19 Nebraska in a three-game set at Pearl Field.
Senior Ashley Akers and the Hawkeyes return home to continue Big Ten action this weekend, hosting No. 19 Nebraska in a three-game set at Pearl Field.
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April 4, 2013

Complete Notes Get Acrobat Reader

THIS WEEK
The University of Iowa softball team (21-13, 1-5) returns home to continue Big Ten action this weekend, hosting No. 19 Nebraska (26-7, 4-1) in a three-game set at Pearl Field. First pitch of game one is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The Huskers and Hawkeyes will face-off at 5 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

WATCH LIVE
All three contests can be seen live on the Big Ten Digital Network via Hawkeye All-Access or video.BTN.com. Hawkeye All-Access is a subscription service that charges $9.95 per month.

ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will call the action.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Hawkeye fans can follow the University of Iowa softball team on social media platforms Twitter (@iowasoftball) and Facebook (facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball). Game updates will be tweeted during each game.

ON THE WEB
Fans can follow the action at hawkeyesports.com, where live stats (Gametracker) will be available. The live "GT" can be found under the calendar tab on the right-hand side of the hawkeyesports.com home page, or on the softball schedule page.

The Last Meeting
Nebraska4
Iowa6
April 15, 2012
Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa Takes Series From Nebraska
Two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a four all tie and lifted the University of Iowa softball team to a 6-4 victory over Nebraska in the Sunday series finale at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes won two of the three games in the series.

QUICK HITS
• Iowa is 24th in the updated NCAA Division I Softball RPI, and receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll.
• The Hawkeyes are 15-2 this season when scoring first, and 18-4 when scoring three or more runs.
• Iowa is 14-0 when holding its opponents to two runs or less, and 16-1 when out-hitting its opponents.
• Iowa has five wins against ranked opponents this season: No. 11 Louisville, No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 15 Stanford, No. 21 Kentucky, No. 24 Oregon State.
Megan Blank, who became the ninth player in school history to garner first team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman, and the ninth to earn all-region recognition as a freshman in 2012, leads the Big Ten with 40 RBIs. The sophomore was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 4. Blank is 28th nationally in RBIs per game.
• Senior Johnnie Dowling is tied for the league lead with Wisconsin's Mary Massei with three triples. Dowling ranks 31st nationally.
• Iowa has been hit-by-pitch 49 times this season to lead the Big Ten. Bradi Wall has been plunked 18 times this season. The senior leads the league and has twice as many HBPs as the next closest league player in the rankings. Wall is third nationally.

SERIES HISTORY
• Iowa is 11-7 all-time against Nebraska.
• The Hawkeyes won 2-of-3 against the Huskers in Iowa City a year ago. The two teams split a doubleheader to open the series, before Iowa won the rubber match, 6-4.
• Iowa has won 10 of the last 14 in the series.

OPPONENT NOTES
• Nebraska is 26-7 overall and 4-1 in league play, winning seven of their last eight overall.
• The Huskers are 9-3 in road games, and 10-3 at neutral sites.
• Nebraska took two against Northwestern to open league play, before winning 2-of-3 at Illinois last weekend.
• The Huskers are 2-5 against ranked foes, earning wins over No. 1 Oklahoma (1-0, March 2) and No. 23 Florida State (2-0, Feb. 24).
• Brooke Thomason paces Nebraska with a .365 batting average in a team-high 104 at-bats. Taylor Edwards leads the team with 34 RBIs. Thomason ranks second with 32.
• Both Nebraska starters hold ERAs under 2.00. Tatum Edwards is 17-5 with a 1.77 ERA in 18 starts. Emily Lockman is 9-2 with a 1.38 ERA in 15 starts.

AWARENESS DAY
Iowa spent Monday's practice time inviting people around Iowa City to its upcoming 'Awareness Day'. 'Awareness Day' will take place Saturday at Pearl Field when the Hawkeyes host Nebraska at 5 p.m. During the year, the team has been working with different organizations in the Iowa City community. The Hawkeyes split up, and different players worked with different organizations. In addition to bringing awareness to Autism, the team has worked with the Veteran's Hospital, Miracles in Motion, the Ronald McDonald House, Iowa City Hospice, the Iowa City Animal Shelter, The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

LAST TIME OUT: HAWKEYES ROUT DRAKE, 18-0
• Iowa routed Drake, 18-0, in five innings Wednesday night at Ron Buel Field behind a season-best 17 hits and a complete game victory from junior starter Kayla Massey.
• The Hawkeyes also posted season highs in runs (18), RBIs (15), home runs (three) and walks (seven).
• The 18 runs mark the most for Iowa since Feb. 18, 2012, when the Hawkeyes blasted Iowa State, 26-5, in five innings.
• Eleven players found the hit column, while four posted multi-hit games and three notched multi-RBI contests.
• The Hawkeyes, 34-10 all-time against the Bulldogs, posted their largest margin of victory over their in-state foes in series history.
• Senior Johnnie Dowling, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, scored a career-best four runs in the leadoff spot, finishing 2-for-5 at the plate.
Megan Blank finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, adding two RBIs and two runs. The four hits mark a career best for the sophomore.
• Massey helped herself at the plate, hitting her-team leading sixth home run of the season. She finished with three RBIs and also posted a game-high six assists in the field.
• In the circle, Massey allowed four hits in five shutout innings to move to 11-7. Massey struck out three Bulldogs and surrendered zero walks. She has tossed 16 complete games in 18 starts this season.

B1G PLAY IS BACK
Head coach Marla Looper led the Hawkeyes to a runner-up finish in the Big Ten a year ago -- the program's highest finish since winning the league title in 2003. Iowa dropped two of its first three conference series before winning five straight to close out the season. It was the first time the team had won five straight series since the 2004 season. Iowa entered the final weekend with a conference title within reach, but it couldn't close the gap with Michigan despite taking 2-of-3 games at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes finished with a 27-26 overall and 16-8 conference record in 2012, winning 11 of their final 15 Big Ten games. Looper is 26-24 at Iowa during league play.

SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE
Fans interested in attending home games at Pearl Field should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS to secure season tickets. Season tickets are currently on sale for $20 for the reserved seating area, $15 for general public in the general admission area, and $12 for faculty/staff general admission. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free to all home games. Purchase is required for all reserved seats, regardless of age. The Hawkeyes will host three-game series against Nebraska (April 5-7) and Penn State (April 26-28), in addition to a doubleheader against Illinois (April 23). No. 6 Missouri comes to town (April 17) for a doubleheader, and Iowa State travels to Iowa City for the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series game on May 1.

11 BIG TEN NETWORK APPEARANCES
Iowa will make 11 appearances on the Big Ten Network or BTN.com during the 2013 season. The Hawkeyes will make their debut during their three-game set against Nebraska at Pearl Field (April 5-7). All three contests will be shown on BTN.com. Iowa's home doubleheader against No. 6 Missouri on April 17 is slated for BTN.com. Two contests during Iowa's three-game set at Michigan (April 19-21) will be shown live. The opener on April 19 can be seen on BTN.com. The Hawkeyes will make their BTN debut on April 21 in the series finale. Both games of Iowa's doubleheader against Illinois at Pearl Field on April 23 will be shown live on BTN. The Hawkeyes will host Penn State on April 18 at 1 p.m., in a contest slated for BTN.com. Iowa's annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup with Iowa State on May 1 can also be seen on BTN.com. The contest is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Pearl Field. The Big Ten Network will also choose five "wildcard" games during the course of the regular season that will be televised live. The network will also air the semifinal games and championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in Lincoln, Neb. (May 11-12). Highlights and coverage of Big Ten softball will be featured on the Diamond Report, which airs Sunday nights during the season beginning in April. Hosts Rick Pizzo, Mike Hall and various analysts will discuss Big Ten matchups and breakout performances from the weekend games.

HAWKEYES END LOUISVILLE'S HOME WINNING STREAK
The Hawkeyes won at No. 11 Louisville on March 18, 6-2, handing the Cardinals their first home loss during the regular season since April 13, 2011 -- in a streak that spanned 37 games. Iowa also ended Louisville's 11-game winning streak. Massey earned the complete game victory, allowing two first-inning runs. Brianna Luna paced the Hawkeyes, tallying her first career three-hit game. The junior finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Johnnie Dowling added her 10th multi-hit contest of the year, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.

SOLID WIN IN LEXINGTON
Iowa won at No. 21 Kentucky on March 20, 3-1, behind a complete game from starter Kayla Massey. The Hawkeyes earned their second victory of the week at a top-25 opponent, after winning at No. 11 Louisville on March 18. The game was shown live on Fox Sports South. Massey earned the victory, registering her 12th complete game in 13 starts. She won her sixth-straight decision, allowing one run on four hits. Megan Blank, Michelle Zoeller and Ashley Akers finished with multi-hit games to pace the offense. Blank went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, posting her 10th multi-hit game of the season. Zoeller finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Akers went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

MASSEY LEADING THE WAY AT PLATE, IN THE CIRCLE
Kayla Massey has been doing it all for the Hawkeyes as of late. The junior is 11-7 inside the circle with a 1.99 ERA. She has tossed 16 complete games in 18 starts, with three shutouts. At the plate, Massey is third on the team with a .337 batting average. She leads the team with six home runs and owns a .545 slugging percentage. Massey has recorded seven multi-hit games and five multiple-RBI games. The Foothill Ranch, Calif., native has hit safely in 25-of-32 games in which she has batted, and reached base in 26.

LEAGUE RANKINGS
Megan Blank leads the Big Ten with 40 RBIs, ranks sixth with 70 total bases, and is eighth in slugging percentage (.673).
• Senior Johnnie Dowling is tied for the league lead with three triples. Junior Michelle Zoeller is tied for third with two.
• Dowling ranks eighth in runs scored (29) and ninth in stolen bases (12).

PLAYING WITH THE BEST OF 'EM
The Hawkeyes will face a difficult schedule in 2013. Iowa will play 13 opponents that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, including defending national champion Alabama. The Hawkeyes will play 11 teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the latest polls (USA Today/NFCA / ESPN.com/USA Softball) -- Alabama (No. 4/7), Missouri (No. 7/6), Louisville (No. 11/11), Michigan (No. 12/12), Stanford (No. 14/14), Nebraska (No. 21/19), Kentucky (No. 21/20), Oregon State (No. 24/RV), Wisconsin (No. 25/23), Louisiana-Lafayette (RV) and Oklahoma State (RV). The Hawkeyes are 5-4 against ranked opponents (Louisiana Lafayette, 1-1; Alabama, 0-2; Stanford, 1-0; Oregon State, 1-0; Louisville, 1-1; Kentucky, 1-0).

B1G RANKINGS
The Big Ten is one of two conferences with 10 or more teams ranked in the top 100 of the latest RPI report, released by the NCAA. Nebraska (18th), Michigan (20th), Wisconsin (21st) and Iowa (24th) appear among the top 25. Four Big Ten teams are receiving votes in one or both national rankings this week. Michigan is ranked 12th in the USA Softball and NFCA polls, Nebraska is rated 19th in the USA Softball poll and 22nd in the NFCA rankings and Wisconsin appears in the rankings for the first time since 2002, checking in at No. 23 in the USA Softball poll and No. 25 in the NFCA ranks. Iowa is receiving votes in the USA Softball standings.

IOWA BLASTS OHIO STATE, RADFORD, MARYLAND
The Hawkeyes scored 27 runs in 18 innings in three wins over Ohio State, Radford and Maryland on March 9-10 in College Park, Md. Iowa downed Maryland on March 9, 9-4, before earning two run-rule victories against Radford (10-0, five innings) and Ohio State (8-0 six innings) on March 10. The Iowa offense plated 18 runs on 23 hits in 11 innings against the Highlanders and Buckeyes, and starters Chelsea Lyon and Kayla Massey combined for 11 scoreless innings inside the circle. Freshman catcher Holly Hoffman capped Iowa's big day with a walk-off grand slam against Ohio State. The contest against the Buckeyes counts as a nonconference game.

HAWKEYES SWEEP IN CALIFORNIA
The Hawkeyes, winners of five straight overall, finished with a perfect 4-0 mark in the Easton Invitational on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, March 1-2. Iowa defeated two top-25 opponents -- No. 15 Stanford (7-6) and No. 24 Oregon State (9-3) -- and Cal State Fullerton (7-0) and CSU Bakersfield (5-3). The Cardinal had won 10-of-11 entering the contest, while the Hawkeyes ended the Beavers' 12-game win streak.

BLANK NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Megan Blank was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 4, garnering her first career weekly honor. The Culver City, Calif., native hit .429 in her home state, leading Iowa to wins against No. 15 Stanford (7-6), No. 24 Oregon State (9-3), Cal State Fullerton (7-0) and CSU Bakersfield (5-3), March 1-2. She recorded at least one RBI in every game, recording eight in all, and scored five runs. Blank paced Iowa with two RBIs in the win over the Cardinal, who had won 10-of-11 entering the contest. She recorded a multi-hit game against the Beavers, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. Oregon State entered the contest with a 12-game win streak. In the victory over the Titans, she finished 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. She added a triple and an RBI against Bakersfield. It marks Iowa's first Player of the Week honor since April 18, 2011, when catcher Liz Watkins garnered the accolade.

CALIFORNIA NATIVES SHINE IN HOME STATE
Six Hawkeyes hail from the state of California: freshmen Erin Erickson (Oakland) and Sammi Gyerman (San Pedro), sophomore Megan Blank (Culver City), and juniors Brianna Luna (Indio), Nikki Gentile (Martinez) and Kayla Massey (Foothill Ranch). The group had a big weekend March 1-2 in Fullerton, Calif. Erickson saw action in two contests and Gentile swiped two bases. Massey finished 2-0 in the circle and had two home runs at the plate. Blank hit .429 en route to Big Ten Player of the Week honors. Luna notched a double and two runs scored and Gyerman hit .308 with a double and three RBIs.

IOWA TAKES 2ND IN BAMA BASH
The Hawkeyes moved to 10-5 overall after finishing 3-2 in the Bama Bash Feb. 22-24 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Iowa defeated Winthrop twice and Western Illinois in the finale, and dropped two decisions to No. 1 Alabama. The Hawkeyes took second place in the tournament behind the host Crimson Tide.

HAWKEYE TRIO EARNS BAMA BASH HONORS
Three Hawkeyes -- Johnnie Dowling, Chelsea Lyon and Kayla Massey -- were named to the Bama Bash All-Tournament Team. Dowling hit .438 over the weekend in the leadoff spot. The senior tallied seven hits and five runs to lead the team. The Des Moines, Iowa, native added a triple and an RBI, recording a .550 on-base percentage. Dowling also swiped three bases and registered three multi-hit games. Lyon moved to 5-1 on the season after finishing 2-0 with two complete games. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native posted a 1.62 ERA in 13 innings pitched. The senior struck out seven while limiting opposing hitters to a .188 batting average. Massey had another stellar weekend at the plate. The junior hit .462 with a home run and five RBIs. She posted a .692 slugging percentage and scored one run. Inside the circle, the Foothill Ranch, Calif., native recorded two complete games against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

IOWA WINS LOVELACE INVITATIONAL
Iowa won the Lovelace Invitational, Feb. 15-17, in Denton, Texas, finishing with a 4-1 mark. The Hawkeyes opened with victories over Dayton (3-0) and Oklahoma State (3-1, eight innings). Iowa continued its winnings ways on day two, downing Nebraska-Omaha (2-1) and host North Texas (4-1), before dropping a 4-3 decision to Oklahoma State in the finale. The Hawkeyes and Mavericks both finished 4-1, but Iowa captured the title by way of its head-to-head victory over Nebraska-Omaha.

BLANK, MASSEY NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Megan Blank and Kayla Massey were named to the 2013 Lovelace Invitational All-Tournament Team. Massey, one of two pitchers named to the squad, was named Tournament MVP, and Blank was a unanimous selection. The duo led Iowa to the tournament title. Massey did it all for the Hawkeyes during the five-game tournament, at the plate and inside the circle. The junior finished the weekend with a 0.39 ERA in three appearances (two starts). She allowed only eight hits in 18 innings pitched and allowed one earned run, while recording 14 strikeouts. Massey shut down Oklahoma State on day one, allowing zero earned runs over eight innings, as she led Iowa to the extra innings victory. She struck out three. On day two, Massey tossed a gem against host North Texas, throwing another complete game, allowing one run on two Mean Green hits. She equaled a career-best with nine strikeouts. Massey also tossed three scoreless, no-hit innings in relief in the finale. At the plate, Massey registered the highest batting average of the tournament. She hit .500, notching six hits in 12 at-bats. She posted two RBIs, a run scored and her first career home run. Blank hit .400 with two runs scored, six hits, three RBIs, one home run, and a walk. She recorded two multi-hit games. Blank tallied the game-winning long ball in Iowa's victory against the Cowgirls on Feb. 15.

SOLID START IN HOUSTON
Iowa opened its 2013 campaign in Houston, Texas, Feb. 8-10, at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic, hosted by the University of Houston. The Hawkeyes finished with a 3-2 mark, earning wins over Texas State (5-4), host Houston (4-1), and No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette (13-10). Iowa dropped its season opener to Lipscomb (4-0) and the tournament finale to the Cajuns (11-0). The win over the Cajuns marked Iowa's first over a ranked opponent since it defeated No. 23 Oklahoma State last year, 5-3, on March 3. No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette is the highest-ranked team the Hawkeyes have defeated since winning at No. 1 Michigan on April, 23, 2011.

BLANK NAMED PRIMETIME PERFORMER
Sophomore Megan Blank was named a Primetime Performer by CollegeSoftball360 for her performance in Iowa's opening weekend tournament -- the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic. Blank, who became the ninth player in school history to garner first team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman, and the ninth to earn all-region recognition as a freshman in 2012, picked up where she left off a year ago, hitting .333 in Iowa's first weekend. She led the Hawkeyes to wins over Texas State, Houston and No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette. Blank had the game-winning two-run double in Iowa's come-from-behind win over Texas State on Friday. Saturday, she hit two home runs in leading Iowa to wins over the Cougars and Cajuns. Against No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette, Blank had a career-best five RBIs. For the weekend, she batted .333 with five hits, two home runs, a double and eight RBIs. She slugged .800 and matched her home run total from a year ago in one day's work on Saturday.

BLANK, MASSEY EARN PRESEASON ALL-B1G HONORS
Junior pitcher Kayla Massey and sophomore infielder Megan Blank were selected to the 2013 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference First Team by College Sports Madness. Massey, a 2012 first team All-Big Ten selection, earns the nod after posting a 15-11 record with a 2.04 ERA last year, notching seven shutouts and 24 complete games in 26 starts. She had 120 strikeouts over 185.2 innings. A native of Foothill Ranch, Calif., she compiled 27 wins and a 2.60 ERA in 68 career appearances inside the circle during her first two seasons. Blank became the ninth player in school history in 2012 to garner first team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman and ninth player in program history to earn all-region recognition as a freshman. The Culver City, Calif., native was a NFCA Second Team All-Midwest region selection. She started all 53 games at shortstop and led the team with a .390 batting average with 34 runs and 29 RBIs. Blank turned in a team-best 24 extra base hits with 17 doubles, five triples and two home runs. The 17 doubles are tied for fourth in the Iowa record books, the triples are tied for eighth and the batting average is tied for 10th.

IOWA'S 1-2 PUNCH
The Hawkeyes return two pitchers -- senior Chelsea Lyon and junior Kayla Massey -- that hurled 354.2 innings pitched out of 355.0 total innings for the team in 2012. In 2012, Lyon ranked eighth in the Big Ten in ERA (2.61) and opposing batting average (.238), and 11th in innings (169.0) and strikeouts (114). Massey was named first team All-Big Ten in 2012, posting a 15-11 record with a 2.04 ERA. Massey notched seven shutouts and 24 complete games in 26 starts. She tallied 120 strikeouts over 185.2 innings and limited opposing hitters to a .222 batting average. Massey went 9-3 with a 1.95 ERA in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes finished second in the Big Ten in pitching (2.31 ERA) in 2012.

PITCHING HELP
Head coach Marla Looper has two more pitchers at her disposal in 2013. Freshmen Shayla Starkenburg and Micaela Whitney will give the Hawkeyes pitching options. Starkenburg, who hails from Ankeny, Iowa, was elected as the 2012 5A Pitcher of the Year and first team all-state honoree as a senior, after posting a 31-0 record with a 0.58 ERA. She had 222 strikeouts in 191.2 innings, allowing 20 runs (16 earned) and 99 hits, guiding Ankeny High School to a 39-6 overall record en route to the state title. Whitney was a Nebraska Coaches Association All Star first team and Nebraska All-State Class A selection as a senior. She went 20-9 with a 1.42 ERA over 182.2 innings pitched, while posting 217 strikeouts and allowing 69 runs. The rookie duo joins Lyon, Massey, and junior Brittanee Grove on the pitching staff.

LET'S TURN TWO
The Hawkeyes were third in fielding (.967) in the Big Ten a year ago. The squad turned 26 double plays during the course of the season to rank sixth nationally in double plays per game (.49).

WALL BRINGS HOME THE HARDWARE
Senior Bradi Wall, a member of the Canadian Women's National Baseball Team, was selected as recipient of the team's 2012 Jimmy Rattlesnake Award in November. The award is presented annually to the player who shows great performance and sportsmanship. Wall did not play prep softball, as it was not sponsored in her hometown. She played on the boys' baseball team.

2/3 OF OUTFIELD IN TACT
The Hawkeyes return two of their three outfield starters in seniors Ashley Akers and Johnnie Dowling. Akers played in 52-of-53 games with 52 starts, all coming in left field in 2012. Dowling started all 53 games in center field a year ago, making her one of three Hawkeyes to start every game. The duo has started all 34 games in 2013.

DOWLING MAKES THE MOVE
At the plate, junior Johnnie Dowling made the transition from a right-handed hitter to a left-handed slapper following the 2011 season to utilize her speed. The Des Moines, Iowa, native hit .216 with five home runs as a sophomore. Dowling hit a career-best .308 last season from the left side of the plate on her way to third team All-Big Ten honors. She also had career highs in runs (35), hits (53) and walks (9). Dowling had 15 multi-hit games and led the team with a .381 average during conference play.

INTRODUCING YOUR 2013 HAWKEYES
The Hawkeyes have seven new faces on the 2013 roster -- seven incoming freshmen. Iowa's roster is full of youth, as 10-of-the-22 players are underclassmen. The Hawkeyes have two sophomores, seven juniors and five seniors (Ashley Akers, Johnnie Dowling, Sam Valentine, Bradi Wall and Chelsea Lyon). Iowa returns four players that earned All-Big Ten honors a year ago (Dowling, juniors Kayla Massey and Michelle Zoeller, and sophomore Megan Blank).

MAY-JOHNSON SHINES FOR TEAM USA
UI assistant coach Stacy May-Johnson was selected as the 2011 USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year. She earned the honor after helping Team USA to gold medals at the World Cup of Softball VII and the Pan American Games. May-Johnson batted a team-best .418 with team highs in home runs (six), runs (26) and RBI (36). In 2012, May-Johnson helped the USA Softball Team to the gold medal at the 2012 World Cup of Softball presented by Lumber Liquidators. May-Johnson started 5-of-6 games for Team USA, posting a .357 (5-of-14) batting average with three runs, two RBIs and two walks. Her best game came in a 9-0 victory over Canada, where she went 2-for-2 with a run scored. The Americans posted a perfect 6-0 record during the competition, and they outscored their opponents, 41-3, in the five day event.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Grove triplets -- Brittanee, Malloree and Steviee -- have been reunited as teammates on the Iowa softball team. Brittanee and Malloree played their freshman seasons at Creighton University, while Steviee was a catcher at Indiana State.

CARMODY BACK WITH THE HAWKS
Former Hawkeye Chelsey Carmody is back with the Iowa softball program, serving as volunteer assistant coach. Carmody started 208 career games in the Iowa infield. A career .335 hitter, she was a team co-captain and was the recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award as a senior. She batted .320 or higher during each of her four seasons in the Black and Gold, totaling 234 career hits, 11 home runs, 87 RBI and 42 stolen bases. Carmody played for UI head coach Marla Looper in 2011 as a senior.

HAWKEYE TRADITION
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).

B1G TOURNEY IS BACK
The Big Ten Tournament is back this season for the first time since 2008. Following the conclusion of the regular season, Iowa will travel to Lincoln, Neb., May 9-12. The Hawkeyes have claimed two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003) and have won 21 games in the event all-time, marking the second most of any team. The conference tournament was discontinued from 2009-12.

ON THE HORIZON
Iowa continues Big Ten action April 12-14 at Northwestern. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats will meet at 4 p.m. on Friday, before concluding the slate Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon.

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