Blank, a shortstop, garnered her first-ever weekly Big Ten honor after leading her team to a 4-0 record over the weekend.
“Megan deserves this honor,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We faced a tough schedule last weekend. Stanford and Oregon State have great pitching. They were on their winning streaks for a reason. It was a team effort that allowed for this honor.”
Blank, who was the ninth player in school history to garner first team All-Big Ten honors last year as a freshman, and ninth to earn all-region as a freshman, led the Hawkeyes to a 4-0 record at the Easton Invitational on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
The California native hit .429 in her home state, leading the Hawkeyes to wins over No. 15 Stanford, No. 24 Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton and CSU Bakersfield. She had at least one RBI in every game, recording eight in all and scoring five runs.
Blank paced Iowa with two RBIs in the win over the Cardinal, who had won 10 of their last 11 games. She went 2-for-3 with a walk, home run, two runs and four RBIs against Oregon State and then finished with two more hits and two more runs against the Titans before tallying a triple and RBI in the win over Bakersfield.
“She has carried over from last year,” said Looper. “That is the challenge. They call the ‘sophomore slump’ the ‘sophomore slump’ for a reason; because people know you and they know how to throw to you. She did some work in the offseason with coach Stacy May-Johnson, and on her own, to try and continue to build. When she relaxes and attacks the ball, she is tough to stop.
“We expect Megan to continue to grow and be better and not rest. The exciting part is she is not done.”
This is the first Player of the Week honor for Iowa since April 18, 2011, when Liz Watkins collected the recognition.
Iowa is 14-5 on the season and will travel to College Park, Md., this weekend to take part in the Miken Invtitational, which is hosted by future Big Ten foe Maryland.
The Hawkeyes will face St. Johns at 8 a.m. and Mayland at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Sunday’s slate includes an 8 a.m. matchup with Radford and a 10 a.m. contest against Big Ten rival Ohio State.