Softball: A Tribute to the 2013 Seniors

April 29, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team topped Penn State on Sunday, 5-0, and celebrated the careers of five Hawkeye seniors in the process.

“It was a great day,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Beautiful weather and a great crowd; it was a great day to honor our seniors.

The Hawkeyes honored team manager Cameron Cole, Ashley Akers, Johnnie Dowling, Chelsea Lyon, Sam Valentine and Bradi Wall following the victory. Lyon and Wall had big games for Iowa in their final conference home game. Lyon tossed a complete game shutout, allowing three hits. Wall finished a perfect 3-for-3 with her third career home run.

The Hawkeyes continue action Wednesday, hosting Iowa State in their home finale at Pearl Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

A look at the seniors:

Akers, a native of Tiffin, Iowa, is a three-year starter and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She has played in 192 career games, and Sunday marked the 150th start of her career. Starting 101 games in left field the last two seasons, she has swiped 32 career bases, scored 72 runs and notched 100 hits. This season, she has posted six multiple-hit games.

Dowling is a four-year starter and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She was named third-team All-Big Ten a year ago. She has played in 195 career games, and Sunday’s game marked the 189th start of her career. The Hawkeye lead-off hitter, she ranks ninth in program history in runs scored and 10th in stolen bases. Dowling, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, paces Iowa this season with 19 multi-hit games and ranks 20th nationally in triples and sixth in the Big Ten in runs scored.

Lyon is a four-year starter inside the circle for the Black and Gold. She has made 113 career appearances with 87 starts, compiling 45 wins. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native ranks 10th in career strikeouts in program history, ninth in career games pitched, and eighth in complete games. She has struck out 345 opposing hitters during her time at Iowa. Lyon has nine victories this season with three shutouts.

Valentine is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, garnering the honor each of the last two seasons. She has played in 61 career games for the Black and Gold. Originally an infielder, the Centerville, Iowa, native transitioned to catcher during the middle of her career.

Wall has played in 101 of 102 games during her two seasons with the Hawkeyes. Sunday marked her 101st career start at second base. A member of the Canadian Women’s National Baseball Team, she leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in hit-by-pitches. She was part of the Hawkeye middle infield that turned 26 doubles plays a year ago, the sixth-highest total in the country. The Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, native has six multi-hit games this season.