May 2, 2013
The Hawkeyes (27-23, 5-15) travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to conclude the regular season this weekend against Purdue (22-28, 8-12). The series opener is set for 3 p.m. on Friday. The middle game and series finale will start at noon on Saturday and Sunday. All times are Central and all games will be played at the Boilermaker Softball Complex.
ON THE RADIO
Fans can listen via the All-Access page at hawkeyesports.com.
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 Hawkeyes are 19-5 when scoring first, 17-0 when holding their foes to two runs or less, and 21-4 when out-hitting opponents.
Iowa has six wins against ranked opponents: No. 11 Louisville, No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 Nebraska, 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, is second in the Big Ten with 58 RBIs (second-highest single-season total in program history). The sophomore was named Big Ten Player of the Week on March 4 and April 15. Blank is eighth nationally in on-base percentage (.566), 12th in RBIs per game (1.18) and 12th in batting average (.450).
Senior Johnnie Dowling is second in the league with four triples. Dowling ranks 33rd nationally.
Iowa has been hit-by-pitch 76 times this season to lead the Big Ten. Bradi Wall has been plunked 27 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 in HBPs.
Iowa is 36-9 all-time against Purdue.
The Boilermakers won both games in 2011 in the last meeting between the two league foes.
Purdue is 22-28 overall and 8-12 in league play. The Boilermakers are 3-4 at home.
Andie Varsho paces the team with a .430 batting average.
Lexy Moore leads Purdue in wins (10), appearances (30) and games started (25).
HAWKEYES TOP IOWA STATE IN CY-HAWK FINALE, 8-3
Iowa defeated Iowa State, 8-3, on May 1 in its home finale and the final Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series event of the year. Iowa has won nine of the last 12 meetings in the series. The Hawkeyes out-hit the visitors, 13-9, moving to 21-4 when out-hitting their opponent. Johnnie Dowling equaled a game high with three hits, finishing 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Michelle Zoeller (2-for-2), Brianna Luna (2-for-4) and Ashley Akers (2-for-3) also tallied multiple-hit contests. Luna launched her first home run of the season off the scoreboard in center in the fifth.
SUCCESS AGAINST IN-STATE RIVALS
In the three-game sweep this season against in-state opponents, Iowa has outscored Drake, UNI and Iowa State a combined, 36-4.
Iowa routed Drake, 18-0, in five innings on April 3 at Ron Buel Field behind a season-best 17 hits and a complete game victory from junior starter Kayla Massey.
The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Iowa, 10-1, in five innings on April 25 at Robinson-Dresser Field in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Iowa topped Iowa State, 8-3, in the final event of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series at Pearl Field on May 1.
IOWA IN B1G PLAY
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 30-34 at Iowa during league play.
The Big Ten is one of three conferences, joining the SEC and Pac-12, with six or more teams in the top 50 of the latest RPI. Nebraska (sixth) climbs four spots this week, while Michigan (12th), Wisconsin (23rd), Minnesota (29th), Iowa (34th) and Northwestern (45th) are also among the top 50. Indiana's Amanda Wagner (on-base percentage), Iowa's Megan Blank (on-base percentage), Michigan's Sierra Romero (home runs, RBI per game), Minnesota's Sara Moulton (wins, shutouts) and Kaitlyn Richardson (batting average, on-base percentage), Northwestern's Amy Letourneau (strikeouts) and Penn State's Cassidy Bell (batting average, home runs, walks, slugging percentage, runs per game, on-base percentage) rank among the top 10 nationally in their respective stat categories.
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
The Hawkeyes continue action next Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament will be held at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.