The University of Iowa softball team travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to compete in The Jayhawk Invitational, March 11-March 13. The Hawkeyes then head to Kansas City, Missouri for a double header on March 15 against Southeast Missouri and UMKC. Iowa then heads to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for five games at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Classic March 18-March 20.
B1G KID STATS
Nia Carter ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batting average (.426) and fifth in on base percentage (.509).
DOING IT ALL
Denali Loecker has started the season 7-1 in the circle with a 1.12 ERA. She has allowed only five extra base hits. Loecker is also hitting .333 with eight RBIs.
Head coach Renee Gillispie won her 900th career game on February 27 against Cornell. Gillispie ranks 19th among active coaches in D1 and 38th all-time in total wins (902).
Seven Hawkeyes hail from Iowa, seven from California, three from Indiana, two from Missouri, and one from Kansas, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. The roster is comprised of nine freshmen, seven sophomores, three juniors and three seniors. There are 11 returning letterwinners and 11 newcomers.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE
Head coach Holly Hesse enters her 34th season at the helm of the Bears’ program. Hesse is the second-winningest coach in the Missouri Valley conference. Senior catcher Alex Boze is a standout for the squad, leading the conference in three categories: batting average (.440), on base percentage (.562), and slugging percentage (.920). The team collectively ranks second in the MVC in fielding percentage (.975).
SCOUTING SOUTHEAST MISSOURI
Head coach Mark Redburn begins his eighth season leading the Red Hawks, coming off back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference regular-season titles. Senior pitcher Rachel Rook puts up numbers to lead the Ohio Valley conference in strikeouts (75) and strikeouts per seven innings (9.8).
Head coach Jennifer McFalls starts her fourth season with the Jayhawks. Kansas is 7-11 to start the season, with one of their losses to Pitt, 3-2, who Iowa defeated earlier in the season, 9-4. Junior third baseman/shortstop Ashlyn Anderson leads the Big 12 in doubles (7), and doubles per game (.39).
SCOUTING WICHITA STATE
Head coach Kristi Bredbenner kicks off her 11th season leading the Shockers. The team ranks first in several categories in the American Athletic conference: batting average (.329), doubles per game (1.88), home runs per game (1.76), scoring (7.41), and slugging percentage (.598). Three standout players lead the conference in two or three categories each. Junior infielder Sydney McKinney leads in batting average (.484) and hits (30). Sophomore Utility Addison Barnard leads in home runs (8), home runs per game (.47), and runs per game (1.24). Junior infielder Zoe Jones leads in doubles (8) and doubles per game (.47).
Kerry Shaw enters his third year as the head coach of the Roos. UMKC ranks first in the Summit League Conference in stolen bases per game, maintaining a one per game average. Senior outfielder Kloe Hilbrenner leads the conference in four areas: hits (25), stolen bases (12), stolen bases per game (0.67), and total bases (44).
Kristin Vesely has been on Houston coaching staff since 2011 and has been the head coach since 2016. Northwestern transfer pitcher Kenna Wilkey has a 3.47 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Wilkey has made four career appearances against the Hawkeyes throwing 24.2 innings and striking out 21. Houston has fallen to Iowa’s upcoming opponent No. 1 Oklahoma twice, 8-0 and 13-0.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO
This is the second meeting between the Hawkeyes and San Diego this season. Iowa defeated the Toreros at the Torero Classic on Feb. 19, 3-1. Ashley Daugherty got the start in the circle for the Toreros in that matchup giving up five hits and three earned runs. Brylee Klosterman and Nia Carter each had two hits for the Hawkeyes.
SCOUTING SAM HOUSTON STATE
Head coach Garrett Valis enters his fourth season at the helm of the program. Freshman infielder/outfielder Brodie Quinlan leads the conference in sacrifice flies (2).
Head coach Shonda Stanton enters her fifth season leading the Hoosiers. Indiana ranks first in the Big Ten and nationally in stolen bases per game, averaging 3.15. Sophomore Infielder Brook Benson is one of 15 players nationally who are tied for toughest to strike out, as she has not been struck out yet this season. The matchup will not count towards conference play.
Head coach Patty Gasso sits at the helm of Oklahoma softball. Entering her 28th season, she has amassed five national championships, the most recent being 2021. Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in 10 categories as a team and ranked first nationally in six of the 10 categories (batting average, ERA, home runs per game, on base percentage, scoring, and slugging percentage). The Sooners remain undefeated this season and are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation. Oklahoma defeated Big Ten competitor Minnesota 9-1 (5) on March 7th.
PLAYING THE BEST
The Hawkeyes face 10 different teams that made the NCAA tournament in 2021. Eastern Kentucky, Liberty, Kentucky, South Dakota State, Wichita State, defending national champion Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa State, Northwestern, and Northern Iowa.