The Hawkeyes kick off the 2018 season at the Mardi Gras Classic in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Feb. 9-11. Iowa faces UIC twice and takes on Eastern Illinois, No. 24 UL Lafayette, and Evansville once.
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- Live stats links for each game are on the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
- Saturday’s game against 24th-ranked UL Lafayette will be live streamed on the Ragin’ Cajuns Digital Network. A live stream link can be found on the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
- General Admission (Public) – $15
- General Admission (Faculty/Staff) – $12
- General Admission season ticket holders receive an Iowa tumbler.
- Season tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets, by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, or at the UI Athletics Ticket Office at the north entrance of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Five of Iowa’s opponents enter the 2018 season ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll: Texas A&M (8), Michigan (T16), Minnesota (18), Arizona State (19), and UL Lafayette (24). Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, and Nebraska also received votes.
- Five foes are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA poll: Texas A&M (6), Minnesota (16), Michigan (18), UL Lafayette (22), Arizona State (23). Illinois, Wisconsin, and Cal State Fullerton also received votes.
In the Rankings – B1G
- Two Big Ten teams are currently ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Michigan is tied for No. 16, while Minnesota is No. 18. Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, and Nebraska received votes.
- Two Big Ten teams are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll. Minnesota lands at No. 16, while Michigan is ranked 18th. Illinois, Ohio State, and Wisconsin received votes.
A Challenging Schedule
Iowa’s 2018 schedule features 10 opponents who reached the 2017 NCAA Regionals, two of which reached the Women’s College World Series. UIC, UL Lafayette, Tulsa, Texas A&M, Cal State Fullerton, Baylor, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all reached Regionals, while Texas A&M and Baylor advanced to the Women’s College World Series.
- University of Illinois-Chicago finished the 2017 season with a 39-22 overall record and a 20-4 mark in the Horizon League.
- The Flames earned a berth in the NCAA Regionals after winning the Horizon League Championship. They defeated Missouri (5-4) but fell to No. 3 Oregon (13-0, 5 innings) and Wisconsin (2-0) to end the season.
- UIC led the Horizon League in batting average (.282), ERA (2.15), stolen bases per game (1.15), and triples per game (.30).
- The Hawkeyes hold a 4-2 record against Illinois-Chicago. Iowa dropped a 3-2 decision to UIC on Feb. 19, 2016 in Rosemont, Illinois. The Hawkeyes last topped the Flames, 4-3, on March 5, 2006.
- Eastern Illinois concluded the 2017 season with a 28-21 overall record and a 10-5 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
- The Panthers concluded the season at the OVC Championship Tournament, where they topped Murray State (6-5), but fell to Jacksonville State (4-2) and Eastern Kentucky (5-0).
- Eastern Illinois finished ranked No. 54 in the nation in stolen bases per game (1.39, 70 overall). Junior Kayla Bear led the team with 30 stolen bases.
- The Panthers were ranked No. 55 with a 2.58 ERA.
- The Hawkeyes are 6-0-1 against Eastern Illinois. The teams last faced on March 26, 2000, in Tempe, Arizona, when Iowa won a 3-2 decision.
- ULL ended the 2017 season 47-8 overall and 23-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns open the 2018 season ranked No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll and No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 Poll.
- After winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship, the Ragin Cajuns competed in the Baton Rouge NCAA Regionals, where they defeated McNeese State (6-1) and LSU (4-2), but then dropped back-to-back decisions to the Tigers (6-1, 5-1) to end the season.
- ULL led the nation in on-base percentage (.445) and scoring (8.25 runs per game, 454 runs).
- The Cajuns lead the all-time series 4-2. The teams last faced on Feb. 20, 2015, when UL Lafayette defeated Iowa, 4-3, in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Hawkeyes last won in a 13-10 decision on Feb. 9, 2013.
- Evansville was 20-33 overall and 11-15 in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2017.
- The Purple Aces fell, 6-1, to Loyola in the first game of the MVC Championship to end the season.
- Evansville ranked No. 76 nationally with 1.25 stolen bases per game (66 overall).
- This is the first meeting between the Hawkeyes and the Purple Aces.
- Sophomore pitcher Allison Doocy led the team last season with 119 strikeouts.
- Doocy had a career-high 10 strikeouts in a one-hit shutout victory over Rutgers in the series opener April 14.
- After posting a 3-1 record and a 0.78 ERA from April 11-16, Doocy was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She is the first Hawkeye to receive the honor since Megan Blank on April 9, 2012.
Hot Hitting Thompson
- Sophomore Lea Thompson finished her debut season on a team-high, 10-game reached base streak.
- Thompson led the nation with .41 sacrifice hits per game (16 overall).
- She also led the team with three triples and a .411 on-base percentage.
- With 11 extra-base hits, redshirt sophomore Brooke Rozier led the team with a .408 slugging percentage during the 2017 season.
- She had a team-high four home runs and finished second on the team with two triples. She also chipped in five doubles.
- Allison Doocy appeared in 28 games and started 24 in the circle as a freshman. She had a 2.80 ERA over 145.0 innings and led the staff with 119 strikeouts, a mark that ranked No. 6 in the league. Doocy threw 16 complete games, had nine wins, and recorded four shutouts.
- Lea Thompson appeared in 39 games and started 36 as a freshman, playing primarily shortstop. She led the NCAA with 0.41 sacrifice hits per game (16 sacrifice hits over 39 games). Thompson had 22 hits with two doubles and a team-high three triples for a .341 slugging percentage.
- Angela Schmiederer played and started 49 games, primarily at catcher, as a junior. She recorded 32 hits with four doubles and a triple. Schmiederer scored seven runs, registered two sacrifice flies and had two sacrifice bunts.
- Brooke Rozier played in 48 games and started 42, primarily as the designated player, as a redshirt freshman. She had 28 hits with five doubles, two triples, and a team-high four home runs for a team-best .408 slugging percentage.
- Allie Wood played and started at center field in 50 games as a junior. Wood recorded 30 hits with seven doubles and three home runs. She scored 19 runs, had 15 RBI, registered two sacrifice bunts, stole two bases, and had one sacrifice fly.
- Cheyenne Pratt played in 49 games and started 46 as a junior. She had a perfect fielding percentage and was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. Pratt tied a team-high 36 hits, scored 15 runs, registered four RBI, had a season-best nine stolen bases, and racked up five sacrifice hits.
- Aralee Bogar played three years at Byron Nelson High under Kathy Schoettle after playing her freshman year at North Andover High School. As a junior, she broke four school records: 33 stolen bases in a season, 45 hits in a season, 47 runs in a season, and 37 singles in a season.
- Lauren Shaw pitched for three years at Keystone High School under Jim Piazza where she amassed a 53-13 overall record with 20 career shutouts and three no-hitters. Shaw had four perfect games, which ranks third in the Keystone record books. In all, Shaw threw 467 strikeouts and had a 1.01 career ERA.
- Ashley Hamilton played shortstop and third base during her four years at John F. Kennedy High School under Dan Gratz. As a junior, she led the team to a 37-5 record and a first-place finish in the MVC. That season, Shaw played in 40 games and amassed 57 hits, a .438 batting average, and a .631 slugging percentage.
- Elizabeth DeShields joins Iowa as a sophomore after one season at Marshall where she appeared in 46 games. She had 31 hits with three doubles and a home run. DeShields scored six runs and had a .414 on-base percentage.
- Kenzie Ihle comes to Iowa after a season at Indiana State where she appeared in 37 games in the circle, tallying a 17-14 record. The senior threw nine complete games and had two shutouts and one save. Ihle threw 128 strikeouts in 188.2 innings pitched and held hitters to a .280 batting average.
Back in Black (and Gold)
- Rachel West was named an assistant coach for the University of Iowa softball team in August 2017. She works with Iowa’s slap hitters and outfielders.
- West, an Iowa native, has spent eight years coaching in the Iowa City area, including a season as the Hawkeye’s volunteer assistant coach (2016).
- West played for Iowa in 202 games from 2005-09. In career records, she ranks fourth in stolen bases (86), eighth in batting average (.341), and 18th in runs (95). In single-season records, she ranks No. 7 in stolen bases (29) and No. 16 with four triples, both in 2007.
Other Staff Additions
- Keely McMillon joined the program as the Director of Operations in September of 2017.
- McMillon joins Iowa after four years as the Director of Operations for Olympic sports at Liberty University.
- McMillon was a catcher for the Lady Flames softball team from 2008-11. A four-year starter, she played a key role as a senior on the Lady Flames’ 2011 Big South champion team.
The Hawkeyes will continue to produce their blog, The Dugout, for the 2018 season. The blog provides fans the opportunity to connect with the student-athletes, coaches, and staff around the Hawkeye softball program. The Dugout aims to deliver a unique insight into the lives of the Iowa softball team. Each week, The Dugout features a different softball student-athlete, coach, or support staff member. To see the latest post, visit hawkeyesports.com.
Iowa has made four Women’s College World Series appearances (1995, 1996, 1997, 2001) and played in 16 NCAA Tournaments in school history. The Hawkeyes have won four Big Ten Conference regular season championships (1989, 1997, 2000, 2003) and two Big Ten Tournament titles (2001, 2003).
The Golden Herkys
The Hawkeyes earned the Community Service Award at the Golden Herkys, the annual award ceremony for the Iowa athletics department. The softball team completed more community service hours than any other Iowa team during the 2016-17 season.
Iowa travels to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Invitational on Feb. 16-18. The Hawkeyes are slated to face Tulsa, Butler, and Texas A&M.