The University of Iowa softball team hosts Wisconsin for a three-game series at Pearl field. Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s match is set for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is slated for a noon start. All three games will be streamed on BTN+ ($). Jerry Kiwala will have the call for the Hawkeye Radio Network: Friday’s game will be broadcast on KXIC, and Saturday and Sunday can be heard on YouTube.
All three games will be streamed live via BTN+, a paid subscription service. The radio broadcast can be heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Fans can follow along for live updates via Twitter @IowaSoftball.
HOME + BIG TEN OPENER
The Hawkeyes have both their Big Ten and home opener this weekend.
Nia Carter tied a school record with five hits against Houston (3/18). She went 5-for-5 on the day to match Christy Herbert (1995), Brandi Macias (1996), and Liz Watkins (2012).
B1G KID STATS
Nia Carter ranks second in the Big Ten in batting average (.457), third in hits (37) and second in on base percentage (.516).
DOING IT ALL
Denali Loecker has started the season 9-3 in the circle with a 2.51 ERA. Loecker is also hitting .301 with 13 RBIs.
Head coach Yvette Healy enters her 10th season at the helm of the Badgers’ program. This will be Wisconsin’s first game against a Big Ten opponent this season. Wisconsin has put up two wins against ranked opponents, #24 UCF, and #15/12 Clemson. Wisconsin ranks third in the Big Ten conference in three categories; double plays per game (.36), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.19), and triples per game (.27).
BADGER STAT LEADERS
AVG – Kayla Konwent (.371)
H – Kayla Konwent (23)
HR – Kayla Konwent (2)
RBI – Kayla Konwent (14)
SB – Ally Miklesh (5)
ERA – Tessa Magnanimo (1.94)
W – Maddie Schwartz (10)
Head coach Renee Gillispie won her 900th career game on Feb. 27 against Cornell. Gillispie ranks 19th among active coaches in D1 and 38th all-time in total wins.
NLSN ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Sophomore Grace Banes and freshman Tristin Doster were named to the 2022 Northern Lights/Southern Nights Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Doster, a Fort Dodge, Iowa, native hit .459 on the weekend while slugging .857. In Iowa’s win over Liberty the freshman hit her first career grand slam. She tallied six RBIs and scored three runs.
Banes, a Kansas City, Kansas, native, hit .429 while slugging .615 in the Hawkeyes’ four games. She notched an RBI in each game. In total she had five RBIs and scored four runs.
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.
The Hawkeyes are 3-3 in those games.
MOVE ‘EM OVER
Senior Riley Sheehy is ranked 20th in the country and second in the Big Ten in sacrifice bunts per game (0.24).
In the 10 games that the Hawkeyes have played on a Friday this season they have an 8-2 record.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Iowa has a 14-0 record when tallying more hits than it’s opponents. The Hawkeyes are 12-1 when holding their opponent to two runs or less.
TAKE A LEAD AND KEEP IT
The Hawkeyes have a 13-2 record when they score before their opponents. Iowa is 14-2 when leading after the fourth inning. The Hawkeyes have scored an average of 2.84 runs in the first four innings.
The Hawkeyes return three players who started every game a season ago. Grace Banes, Nia Carter, and Riley Sheehy started all 44 games for the Hawkeyes.
Banes, Carter, and Brylee Klosterman have started every game for the Hawkeyes so far this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Hawkeyes compiled a 10-6 record at Pearl Field in 2021. Under Renee Gillispie the Hawkeyes are 18-16 at home (since 2019). Iowa is 431-219-1 all time at Pearl Field.
PROGRAM RECORD IN 2021
Iowa won a program-record 26 conference games in 2021. The previous record was 22 wins in 1997.
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.
The Hawkeyes added two transfers for the 2022 season.
Senior Breanna Vasquez comes to the Hawkeyes from Central Florida. Vasquez appeared in 51 games over three seasons for the Knights.
Junior Sophia Maras comes to the Hawkeyes from DMACC after being named the 2021 NFCA Player of the Year. She led the NJCAA in six major offensive categories (including runs (105), hits (117), home runs (29), RBI (92), total bases (234), and walks (40).