May 1, 2014
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By JIL PRICE
IOWA CITY, Iowa — For three members of the University of Iowa softball team, this week of games holds more significance than the rest. The 2014 senior class of Brianna Luna, Kayla Massey and Michelle Zoeller will play the final four home games of their Hawkeye careers at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City, and they want to go out on a high note.
“I want to finish the season with a sweep and win the series against Ohio State,” Luna said. “I want to win on Senior Day — it’s my last time playing on Pearl Field.”
UI softball starts its home stand with midweek game against Northern Iowa before welcoming Ohio State for its final Big Ten series of the regular season on the weekend. The series finale game against the Buckeyes will serve as Senior Day.
All three seniors have made lasting memories on and off the field throughout their time at the UI and will cherish their time with their teammates for years to come. They will also miss the game.
“Each year I’ve made some of the best memories,” Luna said. “I’ve been able to get to know my teammates on a personal level. From softball, I’ll always remember beating ranked teams, like No. 1 Michigan and sweeping No. 13 Missouri. People don’t expect you to win those games so those were awesome times. I’ll miss the competitive nature of the game and how intense it is. I don’t think I’ll have another feeling like that.”
“I’ll miss the late night talks we all have,” Massey said. “What I’ll remember the most is being able to talk to all my teammates knowing that each person has my back. I’ll miss the team the most and playing the game. It won’t be the same when I’ve graduated. I’ve made some great friends here over the past couple of years.”
“I’ll miss all the little things with the girls on the team,” Zoeller said. “From the bus rides to hanging out at the hotels, I’ll miss the little moments that can sometimes be overlooked. Going through so much with them will stick with me. Ever since I was little I’ve had a team that’s like a second family. I’ve played competitive sports my whole life, so I think I’ll miss competing in general.”
Luna, Zoeller and Massey’s advice to their Hawkeye teammates is a simple one, cherish the moments you have and make the most of every one.
“Time goes by fast so take every moment and make it worthwhile,” Massey said. “As cliché as that sounds, it does really go by fast. I don’t feel like it’s my senior year, I still feel like I’m a freshman at certain points.”
“My advice would be to be relentless,” Luna said. “Never give up when you’re down. When you’re down pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going.”
Iowa will begin postseason play at the 2014 Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Illinois, from May 8-11.