Feb. 8, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team officially kicked off the 2011 season Tuesday night, hosting the seventh annual “Meet the Hawks” night at the Paul W. Brechler Press Box inside Kinnick Stadium.
“It was a great turnout tonight,” said UI head coach Marla Looper, who is entering her first year with the Hawkeyes. “This is a great event to kick off the 2011 season, and we’re excited to be able to meet and greet our supporters.”
Looper opened the evening with a brief personal introduction to the 250 fans and supporters in attendance. She then introduced her assistant coaches before team captains Chelsey Carmody and Katie Keim addressed the crowd.
Following an introduction of the 16 student-athletes, the players and coaches answered 10-15 questions from the crowd. The Hawkeyes closed out the evening signing autographs and posing for pictures.
“Tonight was great, a lot of people came out that we haven’t seen since last May,” said junior Liz Watkins. “It’s great seeing all the familiar faces and Hawkeye supporters, but it’s exciting to see a lot of new faces as well.”
“It’s really great to get to meet and greet the fans, and this year is special because they all got to meet coach (Marla) Looper and the coaching staff,” said senior Jenny Scheulke. “It’s always exciting coming to this event to see all of our loyal fans.”
The Hawkeyes open the season on Friday at the Black and Red Showcase in Athens, Ga. Iowa plays Lipscomb in its season-opener beginning at 10 a.m.
“It (This event) kind of makes us focus on what we’ll be doing for the next three months,” said Schuelke. “It helps us all realize this is going to happen and we’re leaving this week to start being competitive.”