Oct. 17, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team concluded fall season play with a 15-11 victory over Kirkwood Community College at Pearl Field last Friday. Home runs by junior Whitney Repole and freshman Allie Wood were highlighted in the nontraditional 12-inning game.
“The biggest plus was that it became a long night and they never gave up,” head coach Marla Looper said. “They never let Kirkwood Community College come back and take a lead. Every time they would punch, we would punch back. If anything, we learned that we’re in control of our game and we have the opportunity to punch back. They did a nice job with that.”
The UI offense remained strong and on the attack throughout the contest, scoring two runs in the second, one in the fourth, two in the fifth, two in the sixth, two in the seventh, two in the ninth, two in the 10th and one in the 12th.
Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg started in the circle for the Hawkeyes, throwing the first five innings before giving way to junior Jillian Navarrete. Starkenburg re-entered to finish the contest.
Looper was encouraged by the team’s performance in the fall and is looking forward to building on the Hawkeyes’ progress for the spring regular season.
“We have depth in a lot of areas, which is nice, and as we move into spring we’re going to start seeing those positions narrow down a little bit,” Looper said. “We were able to give people a lot of experience in different positions this fall. We’ve learned where people can play and where they can help the team.
“Offensively, we’re going to continue to make adjustments. Since he got here, hitting coach Adam Arbour has been teaching the girls how to make adjustments, and stressing the importance of making them every day and committing to making them in their training so that we’re ready come spring time.
“We are more shallow in the circle, but I think we have some great tools in the bullpen that will be helpful in the spring. We’re working on getting all of our pitchers comfortable and confident enough to throw any pitch in any count in any location. That’s going to be their key heading into the spring.”
Iowa opens the 2015 season in February.