April 27, 2012
Complete Release in PDF Format
The University of Iowa softball team closes out the home portion of its schedule by hosting Indiana for a three-game series this weekend at Pearl Field. Saturday's doubleheader is slated to begin at 2 p.m. (CT), while Sunday's finale will start at 1 p.m. Following Sunday's game, the Hawkeyes will honor seniors Katie Keim
and Liz Watkins
in a postgame ceremony.
This weekend's three-game series against Indiana will be streamed live online via the BTN's "Student U" broadcast. The streamed content is available on the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com.
Fans can listen to every game for the remainder of the 2012 season via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will call the action. Hawkeye All-Access is a subscription service that charges $9.95 per month.
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.
Hawkeye fans can follow the University of Iowa softball team on the social media platforms Twitter (@iowasoftball) and Facebook (facebook.com/iowahawkeyessoftball). Game updates will be tweeted during each game.
Prior to Saturday's game, Culver's Frozen Custard will be handed out to the first 100 fans, and season ticket holders can register to win season tickets for the 2013 season. Sunday is Senior and Fan Appreciation Day, as watches and Iowa softball trading cards will be handed out to the first 100 fans. It is also "Bingo" day at the ballpark for a chance to win a free pizza from Pizza Hut.
The UI softball program will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX on Sunday and Hawkeye alumni will be introduced. Following the game, Iowa will recognize its seniors Katie Keim and Liz Watkins.
The Hoosiers have dropped five of their last seven games to drop their record to 23-23 overall and 7-8 in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana lost 6-4 to ninth-ranked Louisville on Wednesday in Bloomington after taking 2-of-3 games against Northwestern last weekend.
IU is batting .292 as a team this season and four players are batting over .300. Amanda Wagner is pacing the team with a .373 average to go along with team-highs in home runs (9) and RBIs (33). Jenna Abraham is hitting .323 with seven long balls and 20 RBIs, Shannon Cawley is batting .322 with 16 RBIs and Breanna Saucedo is hitting .319.
Lora Olson and Meaghan Murphy have handled the bulk of the time on the rubber for the Hoosiers, posting a 4.81 team ERA. Olson is 13-13 with a 4.69 ERA with two shutouts and 82 strikeouts in 146.1 innings. Murphy is 10-10 with a 5.00 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 147 innings of work.
Iowa leads the all-time series over Indiana, 58-34-1. The Hoosiers swept last year's two-game series in Bloomington, winning 3-1 and 5-0. Prior to the 2011 season, the Hawkeyes had won four straight and 7-of-10 games in the series.
Indiana is 3-9 in road games this season. The Hoosiers' three victories came at Ohio State, Indiana State and Penn State.
In Big Ten games, infielder Amanda Wagner is leading the conference in batting average (.543), slugging percentage (1.057) and on-base percentage (.704), while ranking third in runs (15), RBIs (18), doubles (6) and fifth in home runs (4).
Former Iowa All-American Christy Hebert is an assistant coach for the Hoosiers. Hebert was a two-time All-America selection and led the Hawkeyes to the Women's College World Series in each of her final three seasons.
Two players on the IU roster have ties to the state of Iowa. Outfielder Lindsay Callanan played her first two collegiate seasons at Northern Iowa, while catcher Jena Malmen was an All-American at Kirkwood Community College last season.
BIG TEN RACE HEATS UP
With three weekends remaining in the Big Ten softball season, only two games separate first through fifth place in the conference standings with Michigan (12-3) holding a one- game lead over second-place Wisconsin (11-4). Purdue is 10-4 and is third in the standings, followed by Iowa and Nebraska, which are tied for fourth with 10-5 conference marks.
Here are the remaining conference schedules for the top-five teams in the standings:
Michigan - Illinois (4/28-29), at Wisconsin (5/5-6), Purdue (5/11-13)
Wisconsin - at Purdue (4/28-29), at Michigan (5/5-6), at Nebraska (5/11-12)
Purdue - Wisconsin (4/28-29), at Minnesota (5/5-6), at Michigan (5/11-13)
Iowa - Indiana (4/28-29), at Ohio State (5/5-6), at Minnesota (5/11-12)
Nebraska - Michigan State (4/28-29), at Indiana (5/5-6), Wisconsin (5/11-12)
The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten Conference in team fielding (.963) and team pitching (2.44) and ninth in team batting (.261).
Senior Katie Keim has reached base safely in each of the last 17 games dating back to March 25 against Wisconsin. The streak is the longest by a Hawkeye this season.
Sophomore Kayla Massey is 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA over her last three starts with two complete game shutouts. She has allowed one earned run in 21 innings and has 17 strikeouts. She is limiting batters to a .208 batting average during the stretch.
Iowa has won five straight Big Ten games for the first time since the 2010 season. The Hawkeyes won six consecutive conference games and 9-of-10 to start the league season.
Keim has started 197 career games and has played in every possible game (201) of her Hawkeye career.
Senior Liz Watkins is batting .444 with three home runs, five RBIs and five runs over the team's last seven games. The catcher has homered in three of the last six contests to give her 27 career home runs, which rank third in school history.
Junior Johnnie Dowling is hitting .346 during Big Ten play with 18 hits in 52 at-bats. Wall's average is 50 points higher in league play, as she is hitting .289 (13-of-45).
Six Hawkeyes are hitting above .353 during the team's five-game Big Ten winning streak. Iowa has out scored its opponents 30-12 during the streak.
Keim hit for the cycle in the three-game series at Northwestern, finishing with a .500 batting average (5-for-10). She doubled in game one, went 2-for-3 with a home run and triple in game two, and 2-for-3 with a double in the finale.
Freshman Melanie Gladden delivered the game-winning RBI single to lift the Hawkeyes to a 7-6 win over Nebraska on April 14. It was her second game-winning hit, as she had a two-run double in the 2-0 victory over Virginia. Gladden also drew a bases loaded walk to give the Hawkeyes the 1-0, 10-inning victory over Illinois.
In Iowa's sweeps of Illinois and Michigan State, the pitching staff was dominant. Chelsea Lyon and Massey combined to go 6-0 with a 0.48 ERA with two shutouts. The duo allowed four runs (three earned) in 44 innings.
Massey (2.31) and Lyon (2.57) rank fifth and seventh in the Big Ten in ERA this season.
Keim is tied for 10th in the Big Ten in slugging percentage (.584), 11th in the Big Ten in RBI (35) and 11th in doubles (11).
Iowa has 18 double plays this season and the .40 double plays per game ranks 24th nationally in the category.
Twenty-three of Iowa's 44 games have been decided by two runs or less. Iowa is 9-14 in such games.
Iowa is 1-9 against ranked competition in 2012 with its lone victory coming against No. 23 Oklahoma State, 6-5, on March 3 in Oklahoma City.
Freshman Megan Blank has reached base safely in 38-of-44 games for the Hawkeyes this season, including 17 of the last 18 games. The shortstop has tallied at least one hit in 33-of-44 games, and she is second on the team with 16 multi-hit games.
Blank is a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree, earning the distinction Feb. 13 after hitting .583 in the season-opening Getterman Classic and April 9 after hitting .667 and reaching base in 11-of-15 plate appearances in the three-game series at Northwestern.
Blank reached base safely in nine straight plate appearances over the course of three-straight games April 4 and April 7. She walked in her final at-bat against Drake before reaching in all eight plate appearances in the Saturday doubleheader at Northwestern.
Blank's 14 doubles are tied for the 12th most in a single season in Iowa history, while her five triples are tied for the eighth most in the record books. Her .406 batting average would be the fourth best in a single season all-time.
Blank is second in the Big Ten Conference with a .406 batting average. She is also leading the league in triples (5) and is tied for the lead in doubles (14) , fifth in on-base percentage (.500), sixth in slugging percentage (.641), tied for sixth in hits (52) and seventh in total bases (82).
Blank ranked 14th nationally in doubles per game (.33), 17th in triples (4) and 46th in batting average (.410) on April 24.
Senior Katie Keim connected on her team-leading seventh home run of the season in the series opener at Michigan State. The seven long balls in 2012 are more home runs than Keim hit in her first three seasons as a Hawkeye, and they are tied for the 16th most in a single season in school history.
Keim saved the best for last, posting career-best numbers in nearly every statistical category as a senior. She is hitting .336, more than 70 points above her career average. She also has 11 doubles, 35 RBIs and a .584 slugging percentage. Keim is leading the team lead with 17 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games.
Junior Chelsea Lyon has allowed four hits or fewer in six starts on the season.
Lyon has allowed one earned run or fewer in 10 starts.
Lyon has four shutouts on the year, which includes a 10-inning, complete game shutout in the 1-0 victory over Illinois.
Lyon had a career-high 10 strikeouts in Iowa's 7-5 victory over Central Michigan on Feb. 18. She finished with eight strikeouts -- the second most of the season -- in the 7-1 win at Michigan State.
Lyon is limiting opposing batters to a career-low .237 batting average, and she has a career-low 2.57 ERA.
Lyon has tossed a complete game in 17 of her 24 starts during her junior season.
Sophomore Kayla Massey was named the Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week on April 23 after going 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA in Iowa's three-game sweep at Michigan State. Massey scattered four hits and seven strikeouts in the complete game shutout in the series opener.
Massey had a season-high eight strikeouts in Iowa's 7-0 win over Northern Iowa on April 26. She scattered six hits in posting her fourth complete game shutout of the season.
Massey now has seven career shutouts, four as a sophomore and three as a freshman. She is 23-21 with a 2.81 ERA in 44 career starts.
Massey has allowed one earned run or fewer in 12 of her 20 starts this season.
Massey threw a three-hit, complete game shutout in Iowa's 2-0 victory over Virginia on March 16. It was her third career seven inning three-hitter, as she accomplished the feat against Eastern Michigan and Colgate as a freshman.
RECORD SETTING ROUT
Iowa had a record-setting 26-5 rout of Iowa State on Feb. 18 at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Hawkeyes set school records for runs (26), hits (29), RBI (23), total bases (41) and single game batting average (.659). Iowa scored 13 runs in the second inning alone, which is believed to be the school record.
Senior Katie Keim set a school record with five runs scored, while senior Liz Watkins tied the single game school record with five hits.
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 is hitting .279 this season from the left side of the plate, which is a career-best. She also has career highs in runs (28), hits (39) and walks (8).
WALL STILL GROWING
The 2012 season will be junior Bradi Wall's third year playing softball. Growing up, she played baseball and parlayed that experience into two appearances for the Canada National Baseball Team. The last two years Wall played softball at Iowa Western Community College, where she earned All-America recognition after batting .458 with 32 doubles.
MAY-JOHNSON AND 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). She will play for the Red, White and Blue again in 2012.
Iowa has made four Women's College World Series appearances (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001) and it has played in 16 NCAA Tournaments in school history. The 16 appearances are the second most in Big Ten history.
The Hawkeyes have won four Big Ten Conference regular season championships and two Big Ten Tournament titles.