The University of Iowa travels to Champaign on Friday for a three-game series against Illinois at Eichelberger Field. Friday’s game begins at 5 p.m. (CT), Saturday’s game is set for 1 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is slated to start at noon. All times are Central. Jerry Kiwala will have the call for the Hawkeye Radio Network, which can be heard on YouTube.
|Series History||Illinois leads, 28-25|
|First Meeting||4/14/01, Illinois, 1-0|
|Last Meeting||5/16/21, Iowa, 4-3|
|Head Coach||Tyra Perry (8th Year)|
All three games will be streamed live via B1G+, 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.
MONSTER TRUCK MASHING
Sophomore Denali Loecker became just the eighth underclassman at Iowa to hit at least seven home runs in a single season. She is tied for 19th all-time.
RECORD BREAKING PACE
If the season were to end today junior Nia Carter would have the third-highest single season batting average (.437) in school history. Carter’s .509 average as a freshman in 2020 ranks first in school history but came during the COVID-19 shortened season.
Junior Kalena Burns hit two home runs in Iowa’s win over Minnesota (4/8). It was her first career multi-homer run game.
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 third in the Big Ten and 21st in the nation in batting average (.437). She is second in the Big Ten in hits and 18th in the nation (55) and eighth in on-base percentage in the Big Ten (.493).
DOING IT ALL
Denali Loecker has started the season 9-6 in the circle. Loecker also has seven home runs and 20 RBIs.
Head coach Tyra Perry enters her eighth season at the helm of Illinois softball. Illinois is ranked 25th in the nation by D1Softball. In conference play, the Fighting Illini are 9-2. Illinois split with Purdue, went 2-1 with Minnesota, and swept Wisconsin and Rutgers. Illinois ranks first in the Big Ten in doubles (78) and doubles per game (2.00). Graduate student catcher Bella Loya ranks first in the Big Ten in toughest to strike out (26.5) and 16th nationally.
FIGHTING ILLINI LEADERS
AVG – Avrey Steiner (.391)
H – Avrey Steiner (54)
HR – Delaney Rummell (9)
RBI – Delaney Rummell (27)
SB – Kelly Ryono (8)
ERA – Sydney Sickels (2.59)
W – Tori McQueen (11)
Head coach Renee Gillispie won her 900th career game on Feb. 27 against Cornell. Gillispie ranks 19th among active coaches in Division I and 38th all-time in total wins (909).
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.
In the 11 games that the Hawkeyes have played on a Friday this season, the team is 9-5.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Iowa has a 15-1 record when tallying more hits than its opponents. The Hawkeyes are 13-1 when holding their opponent to two runs or less. Iowa is 16-3 when not allowing a home run.
TAKE A LEAD AND KEEP IT
The Hawkeyes have a 15-5 record when they score first. Iowa is 14-2 when leading after the fourth inning.
The Hawkeyes return three players who started every game a season ago. Grace Banes, Nia Carter, and Riley Sheehy started all 44 games in 2021.
Carter and Brylee Klosterman have started every game for the Hawkeyes this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Hawkeyes compiled a 10-6 record at Pearl Field in 2021 and have a 2-8 record in 2022. Iowa is 433-227-1 all-time at Pearl Field.
PROGRAM RECORD IN 2021
Iowa won a program-record 26 conference games during the 2021 conference only season. 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.