April 29, 2010
IOWA CITY - On Deck
The University of Iowa softball team (23-17, 8-3) hosts No. 19 Ohio State (31-12, 10-2) this weekend at Pearl Field. Saturday's game is scheduled for 2 p.m. while Sunday's first pitch will be at 1 p.m.
Admission to Pearl Field is $3 for adults. There is no charge for youth (high school age and younger) or UI students with a valid student ID.
Fans who can't make it to Pearl Field can catch both games of the series on bigtennetwork.com. There is a $2.99 fee per game.
Live Audio from Your Computer
You can follow the Hawkeyes from your computer via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com. Rob Brooks, the voice of Iowa softball, will be calling the action live at all home and away events for the remainder of the season. Hawkeye All-Access is a subscription service that charges $9.95 per month.
Hawkeyes on the Web
Fans can follow the action at hawkeyesports.com, where live stats (Gametracker) will be available. The "GT" link can be found under the calendar tab on the right-hand side of the hawkeyesports.com home page, or on the softball schedule page.
This weekend will be busy at Pearl Field.
Saturday will be Iowa's annual "Strike Out Cancer" game and the first 250 fans will receive free pink Iowa Hawkeye bracelets.
Sunday is Iowa's "Softball Tailgate Day." Gates will open at 11:30 a.m., with inflatable games for kids before the game. Fans will also receive free frozen custard, courtesy of Culver's, after the game. Iowa Head Wrestling Coach Tom Brands will also throw out the first pitch.
Fans can also receive $1 off admission by bringing an item of clothing to donate do the clothing drive in conjunction with the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County and the Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committete.
Scouting Ohio State
The 19th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are 31-12 overall and 10-2 in Big Ten play.
Six players are batting .300 or better, including Alicia Herron, who leads the team with a .432 average and 39 RBI. Sam Marder is next at .361 with 16 home runs and 38 RBI, along with a .861 slugging percentage and a .557 on base percentage.
Melanie Nichols is 18-2 with an impressive 1.81 ERA. She has a team-best 115 strikeouts to just 28 walks. Megan Miller is 10-3 with a 2.84 ERA and has 50 strikeouts.
Iowa leads the all-time series, 58-31. The teams split a two-game series last year in Columbus.
Keim On a Tear
Sophomore Katie Keim is starting to heat up at the plate, recording two hits in three of the last five games.
Keim had two hits in game two at Wisconsin and Penn State along with Iowa's home contest against Northern Iowa. She is batting .467 (7-15) with two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored over the five game stretch.
Iowa was aggressive on the basepaths last weekend at Penn State, going a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen bases.
Iowa swiped four bases in Saturday's game and took five Sunday. Senior Lindsey Digmann and freshmen Ashley Akers and Sam Valentine each went 2-for-2 while sophomore Katie Keim, freshman Johnnie Dowling and senior Katie Brown each stole one base.
Taking One For the Team
Sophomore Liz Watkins had only one official at-bat last weekend in State College, but reached base plenty of times.
Watkins was hit by a pitch in four-straight plate appearances to start the weekend, upping her team-leading total to nine HBP's. Watkins went 1-for-1 on the weekend with a sacrifice fly.
Battle For the Team Lead
Iowa's offensive balance is evident on the stat sheet.
Senior Lindsey Digmann leads the team with a .352 batting average and 22 runs scored with sophomore Liz Watkins close behind at .343 with 20 runs scored. Digmann also leads the squad with 45 hits while junior Chelsey Carmody has 43.
Carmody has a team-best seven home runs, with Watkins and senior Katie Brown in the race with five. Brown has a team-high 27 RBI and Carmody is in second with 24.
Climbing the Career Ladder
Three Hawkeyes are putting their names in the Iowa records book.
Senior Amanda Zust ranks seventh in all-time strikeouts (782) and eighth in wins (54).
Getting Ground Balls
Iowa's infield has been very busy over the past 11 games.
The Hawkeye infield has recorded a combined 143 putouts and 92 assists with 8 errors (.967). Iowa's outfield has only seen 27 chances, with 23 putouts and four assists (1.000).