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 hawkeyesports.com.
GILLISPIE EARNS 1ST WIN AT IOWA
- 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.
DOOCY IS DEALING
- 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 HEAD HAWKEYE
- 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 ADD 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.
- 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.