Aug. 3, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — After putting together a solid season in her first as a Hawkeye, rising sophomore Kayla Massey of the University of Iowa softball team went back to work.
Massey competed throughout the summer for the under-23 Hurricane team during the months of June and July. Last weekend in Henderson, Nev., she helped her squad claim the Fastpitch Championship Invitational title, competing against other collegiate players from the likes of UCLA, Arizona State, Michigan and Nebraska.
Massey thinks the experience she’s gained from playing on the U23 team will help her in her preparations for her sophomore season.
“Playing with the older girls on my team, I learned a lot,” said Massey. “A lot of them were a few years older than me, so I felt they taught me a great deal.
“It was doubly beneficial for me because I didn’t just pitch against people that I’ll be competing against (in collegiate softball), but I also was able to get into the minds of people I’ll be playing against. I was able to see how they think through certain things in a game, and I think that will help me in the long run.”
In Massey’s first season in Iowa City, she put up solid numbers, finishing with a 12-12 overall record with a team-best 3.22 earned run average. She also had 110 strikeouts in 169.1 innings. Even with the modest success, the California native knew she had to put in the time in the circle to continue to improve.
“I have been working on my overall pitching style this summer,” said Massey, who tossed a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts in her first career collegiate start against Maryland. “I was focusing on perfecting certain pitches, ones that I felt I needed that I didn’t have last season.”
Massey and her Hawkeye teammates will return to school and the playing field later this month for the start of classes. The UI softball program will play eight games during fall ball, including the Big Four Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, against Iowa State, Drake and Northern Iowa.
Click HERE for the complete fall ball schedule.