Softball Heads to Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | Hawk Talk Monthly — February | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2018-19 | D9 Citrus Blossom (PDF)

The University of Iowa softball team competes in the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom in Orlando, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Feb. 15-17. The Hawkeyes face Villanova, Kansas, Missouri, Saint Joseph’s, and Massachusetts. All games will be live streamed on FloSoftball and live stats are available on the team’s schedule page at

  • Head coach Renee Gillispie notched a season-opening victory on Feb. 8 versus Bucknell. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bison, 5-3. 
  • Junior pitcher Allison Doocy led the Hawkeyes with 14 strikeouts – one off her career-high of 15 set twice in 2018.
  • Sophomore Aralee Bogar started the game off with a leadoff triple.
  • Freshman Abby Lien hit her first career triple in the seventh inning to give Iowa a two-run lead.
  • Six newcomers saw action, including starts by Sydney Owens, Cecil, Miranda Schulte, and Abby Lien.


  • Sophomore Aralee Bogar leads the Hawkeyes at the plate after Iowa’s first four games of the season. 
  • Bogar boasts a team-leading .417 batting average with a .583 slugging percentage.
  • Bogar began the season with a leadoff triple against Bucknell on Feb. 8 and is the only Hawkeye to have more than one multiple hit game this season.
  • On base, Bogar continues her perfect stealing percentage, swiping two bases at the Tiger Classic. Bogar is 25-for-25 in her career.


  • Junior pitcher Allison Doocy made a strong start to her 2019 season.
  • Doocy led Iowa to a season-opening victory over Bucknell on Feb. 8, tallying 14 strikeouts in a complete-game effort. 
  • Doocy, 2018 a second-team All-Big Ten honoree, ranks third in the Big Ten in strikeouts with 21, while holding opponents to a .186 batting average.
  • Doocy finished 2018 with 201 strikeouts to rank 13th in single-season program history.


  • Six newcomers made their Iowa debuts at the Tiger Classic last weekend.
  • Freshmen Sydney Owens, Cameron Cecil, Miranda Schulte, Abby Lien, and junior DoniRae Mayhew all made their first career starts at Iowa.
  • Owens and Lien started all four games with Owens getting the nod in right field and third base and Lien starting at catcher and center field.


  • Freshman Abby Lien got the nod behind the plate on Feb. 9, when the Hawkeyes faced Tulsa.
  • Lien caught two baserunners stealing and is 2-for-3 on the season.
  • Lien is currently tied for first in the Big Ten with two baserunners caught stealing.


  • 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. 


  • 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.


  • Villanova opens its 2019 season against Iowa at the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom.
  • Villanova finished the 2018 season with a record of 27-24-2.
  • Villanova was picked to finish second in the Big East in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
  • The Wildcats are coached by Bidget Orchard, who is in her first season at the helm.


  • Kansas opened its season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona last weekend.
  • Kansas dropped all five games of its opening tournament to No. 25 Oregon, Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, Utah, and Missouri.
  • The Jayhawks are coached by Jennifer McFalls, who is in her first season at Kansas. Most recently, McFalls was the assistant softball coach at Texas.


  • Missouri began its 2019 campaign 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic with wins over Utah, No. 12 Arizona State, and Kansas last weekend.
  • The Tigers are coached by Larissa Anderson, who is in her first season at Missouri.


  • Saint Joseph’s will open its season at the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom this weekend. 
  • Saint Joseph’s ended 2018 with a 24-25 record 
  • Junior Molly Kapala was named All-ECAC second team in May after batting .350 with 56 hits and 12 doubles.
  • The Hawks are led by second-year head coach Erin Brooks.


  • Massachusetts debuts its 2019 squad at the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom this weekend.
  • UMass ended 2018 with a record of 35-14, going 21-0 in conference play on its way to winning the Atlantic 10 title.
  • The Minutewomen are led by Kristi Stefanoni, who is beginning her sixth season at UMass.


  • 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.