Hawkeye softball is not out of mind in February

Feb. 4, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Out of sight, but not out of mind.

That’s one of the missions for the University of Iowa softball program at the fourth annual Meet the Hawks Night on Tuesday, Feb. 12, beginning at 6 p.m. on the second level of the Paul W. Brechler Press Box inside Kinnick Stadium.

“Our team is playing games away from campus for the first five weekends of the season,” UI head coach Gayle Blevins said. “We want to educate people that the season does in fact start in mid-February for softball. This helps let them become a little bit more aware that our softball season is up and running.”

Iowa opens the 2008 campaign three days after Meet the Hawks Night — Friday, Feb. 15 — against Western Illinois in the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. First pitch is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. The Hawkeyes face 25 different teams in seven cities before their home-opener on Saturday, March 22, against Northern Illinois in the Hawkeye Classic.

The UI softball Media Day kicks off Meet the Hawks Night when the doors open at 6 p.m. Fans will be able to meet the players and coaches as well as receiving posters, schedule cards and autographs. The 2007 team highlight video will be shown at approximately 6:30 p.m. The event usually attracts “a couple hundred” fans, according to Blevins.

It has already been a busy 30-plus days for the softball program. It has had 320 high school-aged students and 160 youth at two different clinics and 190 coaches attend the annual coach’s seminar Feb. 2.

“We tell the campers that one of the best things they could do is be there and meet the Hawks,” Blevins said. “It lets people see how excited they are to be connected to the softball team. Meet the Hawks Night is also a nice way to push the community to see the team and meet the team and build a special connection.”

There is no charge to attend Meet the Hawks Night. Those interested in attending should RSVP to the UI Sports Marketing Office at (319) 335-9431.

Last season Iowa finished 31-21 overall, 10-7 in the Big Ten Conference.

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