April 18, 2014
Hawkeye softball continues Big Ten action against Michigan State this weekend, April 18-20, at Pearl Field in Iowa City. The three-game series begins with a 6 p.m. (CT) game on Friday, continues with a 2 p.m. (CT) contest on Saturday and concludes with a 1 p.m. (CT) game on Sunday.
Saturday, April 19 is Awareness Day at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes have been volunteering at five different organizations throughout the year and fans will have the opportunity to learn about each cause at the 2 p.m. (CT) game.
Friday is Girl Scout Night at Pearl Field. Girl Scouts will receive free pizza and can enjoy a pink Iowa Softball decorating station. The first 150 fans through the gate for Saturday's game will receive a free jute tote, and all kids can stick around to run the bases following the completion of the contest. Sunday is Kids' Day and the first 100 kids through the gates will receive a drawstring bag. An egg hunt and autograph session with the team will take place after the game. There will be inflatables, caricatures and face painting activities.
Fans can follow along with each game of the series against Michigan State through a live audio broadcast available on the softball schedule page of hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks will call the action.
Iowa leads Michigan State, 73-27, in the all-time series.
The Hawkeyes have won 14 consecutive contests against the Spartans.
The Spartans last defeated Iowa on April 16, 2006 by a score of 8-4.
SPARTAN SCOUTING REPORT
Michigan State enters the weekend series with a 10-28 overall record and a 2-12 mark in Big Ten action. The Spartans occupy 12th in the conference standings. Stephanie Sanders has a team-high .298 batting average, followed by Sarah Gutknecht and Kassidy Kuhawa who each own a .375 average. Valerie Kaff leads the Spartans with a 5-12 record in the circle. She has pitched a team-most 108.0 innings. Kristina Zalewski has a 3.78 ERA to pace Michigan State, while Kelly Smith has the most strikeouts with 68 on the season. The roster is comprised of five freshmen, four sophomores, five juniors and four seniors. The team is led by 21st-year head coach Jacquie Joseph, and she is assisted by Jessica Bograkos.
MIDWEEK MATCHUP TO REMEMBER
The Hawkeyes topped No. 13/15 Missouri twice in front of their home crowd at Pearl Field on Wednesday, April 16. Iowa used a three-run second inning to pull ahead of the Tigers, 3-1, and were able to hold Missouri scoreless in the remainder of the game to collect its second win over a ranked team this season. Kayla Massey recorded the complete game win in the circle. She held the Tiger offense to four hits and one run. Brianna Luna drove in two runs, while Whitney Repole plated one.
Iowa battled back-and-forth with Missouri in game two and came out on top with a 13-9 final victory. The Hawkeyes used season-highs in runs scored (13), RBIs (13), home runs (2) and doubles (6) to earn the sweep and their third win over a ranked program of the season. Kaitlyn Mullarkey was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and her first career home run. She drove in the first runs of her career, collecting four RBIs. Whitney Repole went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double. She drove in three runs. Eight of nine Hawkeye starters recorded a hit in the win. Micaela Whitney recorded the win in the circle. She threw the final 2.1 innings in relief and limited the Tigers to one hit and one earned run.
As a team, Iowa ranks sixth nationally in triples per game (0.21) and ninth in double plays per game (0.52).
Megan Blank is 47th in triples (3) and 64th in triples per game (0.09).
Whitney Repole is 136th in hit by pitch per game (0.18).
CONSIDERING CONFERENCE ONLY
Iowa is currently in ninth place in the Big Ten standings with a 5-9 record in conference action.
Megan Blank leads the conference in triples (2). She is also second in assists (30) and double plays (5), fifth in hits (18), ninth in batting average (.439), total bases (28) and on-base percentage (.521).
Kayla Massey leads the conference in looking strikeouts (16) and innings pitched (57.2). She is also second in games started (8), third in home runs (4), fifth in earned run average (2.31) and strikeouts (41), and seventh in opposing batting average (.240).
Claire Fritsch is third in total plate appearances (52), fourth in at bats (45) and assists (29), ninth in sacrifice bunts (3) and 11th in chances (74).
Brianna Luna leads the league in plate appearances (54). She is also second in at bats (46).
Erin Erickson is ninth in at bats (42).
Shayla Starkenburg ranks seventh in looking strikeouts (8) and 10th in games started (6).
Micaela Whitney is eighth in games finished (3).
Kaitlyn Mullarkey is tied for the league lead with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. She is also 10th in putouts (69) and 12th in chances (72).
Michelle Zoeller leads the conference in assists (31).
Holly Hoffman is ninth in put outs (70) and chances (75).
UI softball hits the road for a midweek game at Iowa State on Wednesday, April 23. The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series contest is slated to begin at 4 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes continue their road swing with a three-game, Big Ten series at Indiana, April 25-27.