June 2015

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101 Aer being swept by second-seeded Minnesota in regular-season play, the Hawkeyes busted the bracket with a 2-0 win over the 12th ranked Go- phers. Holly Hoffman hit a two-run double, and Shayla Starkenburg limited the Gophers to just two hits. "Before the tournament we talked about send- ing Megan of on a good note," said Hoffman. "We didn't want to lose in the first round, because Megan deserved more than that. e team worked hard. ere wasn't a moment where we felt like we were going to lose any game. It was really impor- tant for us to send Megan of on a good note." While a different hero emerged in each tourna- ment game, it was Blank who paced the Hawkeyes throughout the weekend. e Culver City, Cali- fornia, native registered a .545 batting average, a 1.000 slugging percentage, and a .545 on-base percentage. She shined in her final game, break- ing or tying four school records (season average of .442, career average of .410, doubles in a game, and 20 doubles in a season) with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with three doubles and two runs scored. Iowa's tournament run came to a close with a 9-6 semifinal loss to third-seeded Nebraska, but the team's postseason success sent its lone senior off in deserving fashion. "e whole weekend was awesome," said Blank. "I never felt like we were out of any game. To end my career on a note like that meant the world to me." M egan Blank added another feat to her lengthy list of accolades when she signed a one-year National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) contract with the Chicago Bandits. While she no longer sports a University of Iowa uniform, Blank is grateful for her four years as a Hawkeye. "I couldn't have done it without the coaches at Iowa," said Blank. "ey pushed me over the last four years, helped me become a better soball player, and made me a better person on and off the field. I can't thank them enough for that." Aer two practices with the Bandits, Blank was given the opportunity to sign as a free agent. Ban- dits general manager Aaron M. Moore is excited for what Blank adds to the team. "Megan is a player that was on our dra list in April, and we are thankful the opportunity to add her (as a free agent) was still there," said Moore. "We think she is going to be a key player to our suc- cess, not only in 2015, but hopefully for many more seasons down the road." Blank capped her Hawkeye career with a senior season in which she broke or tied five school re- cords and finished in the top 10 in 12 statistical categories. While her records speak volumes, her performance in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament sum- marizes her impressive four-year career. Aer earning the No. 10 seed, the Hawkeyes over- came a three-run deficit against seventh-seeded Rutgers. Sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey and Sammi Gyerman hit home runs to give Iowa a 5-3 upset victory and a rematch with nationally ranked Min- nesota.

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