Bulldogs Will Host Cyclones on Tuesday at Ron Buel Field
THIS WEEK IN DRAKE SOFTBALL
Drake (16-19, 8-4 MVC) will host the Iowa State Cyclones (12-24, 1-8 Big 12) tomorrow night at Ron Buel Field. The Cyclones beat the Bulldogs, 1-0, on March 28 in Ames. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakebulldogs.com.
SCOUTING THE IOWA STATE CYCLONES
The Cyclones are coached by Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler, who is in her seventh season as head coach at Iowa State. Germeinhardt is 150-182 at ISU. Erica Miller leads the Cyclones with a .381 batting average and has six home runs and twelve RBI. Tori Torrescano leads ISU in home runs with ten and RBI with 4. Torrescano is 7-16 with a 5.92 ERA on the mound. Iowa State was picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 preseason poll.
LAST TIME OUT
MVC-leading UNI swept the Bulldogs this past weekend in Cedar Falls. The Panthers have now won 15-straight games and they hold a three game lead in the conference standings over Creighton (20-15, 9-3 MVC) and Southern Illinois (22-10, 9-3). The Bulldogs sit in fourth place.
Drake will go to Normal, Ill. to face the Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday, April 14 (DH) and Sunday, April 15.
STAYING IN THE STATE
The opening game in the Bradley series was the first of 12 games for the Bulldogs that were played in the state of Iowa. Tomorrow's game against Iowa State will be the last of the 12. This weekend the Bulldogs will cross the border to face the Illinois State Redbirds on Saturday, April 14 (DH) and Sunday, April 15. Drake's last game outside of Iowa was against Indiana State on Sunday, March 18.
BRING THEM HOME
The Bulldogs have a .389 average (7-of-18) with the bases loaded this season, which is good for second in the valley.
Drake is one of the toughest teams to strikeout this season in the MVC. The Bulldogs average 4.34 punchouts per game and they have just 152 on the season and trail only Southern Illinois in both categories for the fewest in the conference.
Drake is the top fielding team in the MVC with a .970 fielding percentage and have the fewest errors in the MVC with just 30 on the season.
Once again Drake is off to a great start in MVC play with sweeps over Indiana State and Bradley and taking two games from Missouri State. Last season the Bulldogs ripped off nine straight wins to begin conference play. Drake won 16 of their first 17 games on the way to a 19-6 overall regular season record and a second place finish.
Drake has a 5-8 record in games decided by one run this season after the win over the Hawkeyes last night.
Drake sports a 2.69 team ERA, which is second to UNI at 1.99.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
The Bulldogs are running the bases this season with 70 stolen bases and have had just 13 baserunners caught stealing. The Bulldogs lead the MVC in stolen bases and have 21 more than number two, UNI. Lindsey Vande Wall (Prairie City, Iowa) and Macie Silliman (Winterest, Iowa) lead the MVC with 17 stolen bases. Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) has 14 swipes, which is fifth in the league. Pierce leads the MVC in triples with 3.
SIT EM DOWN
The Drake Bulldog pitchers have 217 strikeouts this season, which is second to Northern Iowa for the conference lead. Gronewold leads the conference with 138 strikeouts and Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) is eighth with 79.
Torey Craddock (Tucson, Ariz.) and Amy Pierce (Overland Park, Kan.) are hammering MVC pitching this season. Craddock, a senior infielder is hitting .333 with 12 hits including three home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored in the first nine conference games. Craddock is hitting .286 with five home runs, 17 RBI, 17 runs scored and 28 hits on the season. Pierce, a sophomore infielder is hitting .333 with 13 hits, six runs scored, four doubles, two triples, four stolen bases and four RBI in the first nine games of MVC play. Pierce is hitting .287 with 33 hits, 19 runs scored, seven doubles, three triples and 16 RBI on the season.
Freshman Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) is having a nice start to her first season as a Bulldog. The Minnesota native is hitting .303 with five home runs and 24 RBI along with a .535 slugging percentage.
Gronewold has settled in her role as the number one pitcher for the Bulldogs. She is 12-13 with a 2.42 ERA and she leads the MVC in strikeouts (138), innings pitched (153.0), starts (30) and appearances (32). Her 13 wins are third in the Valley. Schmidt has settled into the number two spot in the rotation and is 4-6 overall with six saves and a 3.22 ERA and 79 strikeouts. Schmidt leads the Valley in saves and is ranked in the top five nationally.
Gronewold and Schmidt recorded two of the first double digit strikeout games in the MVC this season. Gronewold had 10 strikeouts against Western Illinois and Schmidt had 10 strikeouts against Green Bay.