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Bulldogs To Host Bluejays for Midweek Doubleheader

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: April 18, 2012
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THIS WEEK IN DRAKE SOFTBALL

The Drake Bulldogs (18-21, 9-6 MVC) welcome the Creighton Bluejays (20-15, 9-5) to Ron Buel Field Wednesday, April 18 for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Drake took two out of three games last season against Creighton. The Bluejays sit in third place in the MVC, one spot ahead of Drake and Illinois State.

SCOUTING CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS

Junior Amy Baker leads the MVC with 42 RBI, is tied for fifth with six homers, and is fourth in batting average (.367). Freshman Allie Mathewson is fifth in the MVC with a .357 batting average. CU leads the MVC with a .472 slugging percentage, 40 homers, 226 RBI and 240 runs. The Bluejays are coached by Brent Vigness, who is in his 19th as head coach.

LAST TIME OUT

Drake beat Illinois State, 5-4, in 11 innings in the final game of the series Sunday afternoon. Liz Buck (Olathe, Kan.) drove in Jaimie Duffek (Brookfield, Ill.) on an RBI single to help Drake avoid a series sweep. ISU took both games on Saturday.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Bulldogs will host the Southern Illinois Salukis Saturday, April 21 at 12 p.m. for a doubleheader. The series will conclude with a single game on Sunday, April 22 at 12 p.m. SIU won two of three last season in Carbondale, Illinois. Saturday is the Lymphoma awareness game with a silent auction for the special jerseys the team will wear.

BATTLE ON THE HILL           

Becca Changstrom is the top pitcher for CU at 11-10 with a 2.60 ERA and Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa) is the top pitcher for DU at 14-13 with a 2.76 ERA. Both are in the top 10 of numerous MVC pitching categories.

BRING THEM HOME

The Bulldogs have a .389 average (7-of-18) with the bases loaded this season, which is third in the Valley.

TOUGH OUT

Drake is one of the toughest teams to strikeout this season in the MVC. The Bulldogs average just 4.59 punchouts per game behind SIU at 4.03 per game.

GLOVE WORK

Drake is the top fielding team in the MVC with a .969 fielding percentage and its 34 errors are the fewest in the conference.

WORK HORSES

Gronewold and Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) are the only two Bulldog pitchers to see action this season. Gronewold leads the Valley in innings pitched (172.1), starts (34) and appearances (36). She is third in wins (13), eighth in ERA at 2.76 and in opponent batting average (.229). Schmidt is second in appearances (31) and the freshman has pitched 89 innings in her first collegiate season. She is 10th in ERA at 2.99 and fifth in opponent batting average (.214).

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Drake continues to run the bases this season. The Bulldogs have swiped a conference-best 75 bases this season and have been caught just 14 times. Macie Silliman (Winterset, Iowa) and Lindsey Vande Wall (Prairie City, Iowa) each have 18 stolen bases to lead the Valley and Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) is sixth in with 14 stolen bases. The Bulldogs are12th in the nation with 1.92 stolen bases per game. Pierce has a conference-best three triples this season.

LOCK IT DOWN

Schmidt's seven saves lead the MVC and the Bulldogs eight saves lead the conference. She is currently tied for the second most in the country.

SIT EM DOWN

The Drake Bulldog pitchers have 240 strikeouts this season, which is behind Northern Iowa (250) for the conference lead. Gronewold is second in  the conference with 148 strikeouts and Schmidt is eighth with 95. Jordan Birch of Illinois State is first with 157.

GO LOW

Drake sports a 2.84 team ERA, which is fourth in the Valley but the Bulldogs are narrowly behind Indiana State (2.84) and Missouri State (2.79). UNI has the top ERA at 2.06.

FIRST YEAR

Freshman Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) is having a nice start to her first season as a Bulldog. The Minnesota native is hitting .321 and is tied for the team lead in home runs with six and doubles with eight, she leads the team with 27 RBI and a .554 slugging percentage.

THREE STRIKES

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. Gronewold added another double digit performance with 11 K's against Bradley.

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