The University of Iowa softball team opens its 2019 regular season at the Tiger Classic, hosted by LSU. The Hawkeyes play four games in total, facing off against Bucknell (10:30 a.m. (CT)) and LSU (3:30 p.m.) on Friday and end the tournament against Tulsa (10:30 a.m.) and LSU (3:30 p.m.) on Saturday. Live stats for every game will be available on hawkeyesports.com.
- Allison Doocy returns in 2019 for her junior season after being named All-Big Ten for the first time in her career in 2018.
- Doocy led a pitching staff that finished third in the Big Ten in team earned run average with a combined 2.35.
- Individually, Doocy finished fourth in the Big Ten with a 1.81 ERA.
- Doocy’s 205 strikeouts in 2018 placed her 13th on Iowa’s single-season strikeout list.
- Doocy was also selected as the College Sports Madness Big Ten Player of the Week on April 9.
- After a career-high 15 strikeouts and a 2-0 weekend, Doocy was named co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on March 12. This was the first Pitcher of the Week award for Doocy and the first time a Hawkeye has earned the honor since Kayla Massey on March 31, 2014.
- Doocy was also selected as the College Sports Madness Big Ten Player of the Week on March 12.
- Sophomore Aralee Bogar returns as Iowa’s top returning bat in 2019. Bogar was one of three players to play in every game and was the only underclassmen.
- Bogar hit .277 with 46 hits and a team-high four triples in her first season at Iowa.
- Bogar was the only player in the Big Ten last season with a perfect stealing percentage, going 23-for-23 (min. 20 attempts).
- The Hawkeyes welcome eight new players to the team in 2019.
- Cameron Cecil, Sydney Owens, Abby Lien, Kate Claypool, Miranda Schulte, and Hallie Ketcham begin their college careers, while DoniRae Mayhew and Sarah Lehman join the Hawkeyes from Kirkwood Community College and Coe College, respectively.
- Four players – Mayhew, Lehman, Claypool, and Ketcham – hail from Iowa, while Owens (Texas), Lien (Minnesota), Schulte (Illinois), and Cecil (California) are from outside the state.
IOWA’S REIGNING JUNIOR COLLEGE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Junior DoniRae Mayhew joined the Hawkeyes in the fall of 2018 after two seasons at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she was named the 2018 Junior College Player of the Year.
- Mayhew dominated during her sophomore season, hitting .446 with a nation-leading 30 home runs and 90 RBIs.
- On April 19, Mayhew had a career day, hitting four home runs and driving in 12 runs in a 24-2 win over North Iowa Area Community College.
FROM VOLLEYBALL TO SOFTBALL
- Iowa sophomore Sarah Lehman is restarting her softball career in Iowa City.
- Lehman spent her freshman year playing volleyball at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- Lehman joins the Hawkeye program after striking out 823 batters over her four years at Regina High School in Iowa City. Lehman was a three-time All-Conference Elite honoree and was the 2A Iowa High School Player of the Year duing her sophomore year. Lehman also won two state championships and holds the record for most strikeouts in an Iowa state tournament with 22.
GILLISPIE BROUGHT ON BOARD
- The Hawkeyes enter 2019 under new leadership with the addition of head coach Renee Gillispie.
- Gillispie returns to her home state after 18 seasons at UCF. She complied a record of 625-403-1, winning five conference championships and advancing to seven NCAA Regionals.
- A native of Danville, Iowa, Gillispie played collegiately at Kirkwood Community College and West Texas A&M University, where she set nine career pitching records and was inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame in 2005.
GILLISPIE ADDS PRATER, DILLINGER
- Head coach Renee Gillispie brought on two high-quality assistant coaches to Iowa for her first season.
- Assistant coach Trena Prater comes to Iowa after one season under Gillispie at UCF and was formerly the head coach at Buffalo and Hampton.
- While playing collegiately at LSU, Prater was named a first-team All-American in 2002 after leading the nation in triples.
- Prater spent seven years playing softball professionally for Akron, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
- Gillispie also brought on her former high school coach at Danville, Rick Dillinger.
- Dillinger comes to Iowa City after 42 years as a high school softball coach at Danville, North Polk, and Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, where he won three state titles and 13 conference titles.
- A member of the Upper Iowa Hall of Fame, Dillinger holds a 1,165-551 record as a head coach and was named the National Softball Coach of the Year in 2004.
- The Tigers capped 2018 with a 45-17 record and a trip to the Tallahassee Super Regional.
- LSU finished the year ranked ninth in the country in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
- The rankings mark the fourth season in a row the Tigers have finished in the top-10.
- LSU is led by head coach Beth Torina, who is in her eighth season at the helm.
- Bucknell finished the 2018 season with a 27-23-1 record and a second round exit in the Patriot League Tournament with losses to Boston and Lehigh.
- Senior Lauren Hadley was named first-team All-Patriot League and was a Patriot League All-Tournament selection in 2018.
- Hadley ranks sixth in program history in home runs (13) and stolen bases (37).
- The Bison are coached by Joey Lye, who is in her first season as head coach at Bucknell.
- Tulsa ended its 2018 campaign at the NCAA Normal Regional after going 34-25.
- Tulsa won its third consecutive conference title last season, defeating USF 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference Championship game.
- Tulsa is led by John Bargfeldt, who is in his 13th year as head coach of the Hurricanes.
- Season tickets for Iowa’s 13 home games are on sale now at the UI ticket office inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- A reserved bleacher seat is $20 for the season and general admission season tickets are $15.
- Single game tickets are also on sale to the general public for $5, while fans 18 years and younger receive free admission.
The Hawkeyes compete in the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom in Orlando, Florida. Iowa faces off against Villanova and Kansas on Friday,Missouri and St. Joseph’s on Saturday, and Umass on Sunday.