The University of Iowa softball travels to University Park, Pa. for a three-game series at the Nittany Lion Softball Park. Friday’s game begins at 4 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s match is set for 1 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is slated to start at 11 a.m.
WATCH AND FOLLOW LIVE
All three games this weekend will be streamed on B1G+ (subscription required). They will also be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Lucas Strain on the call. Fans can access the stream free on YouTube or by downloading the Varsity Network app. Live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com and live updates will be available on Twitter (@ iowasoftball).
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes finished their 10 game Spring Break trip with a record of 7-3. At The Spring Games in Madeira Beach, they finished, 6-1, with four shut out wins including a run-rule victory over Lafayette. At the South Florida Showdown host by USF, the Hawkeyes went 2-2 with an extra inning win over Marist and a run-rule win over USF.
Senior Breanna Vasquez threw 32.0 innings over seven appearances and finished with a 0.88 ERA and 5-1 record. She struck out 37 batters and held batters to a .158 BA against.
Five Hawkeyes started all 10 games, and four of those five student-athletes finished with a BA above .300. Senior Nia Carter led the team hitting .486 with an OBP of .500. Freshman Tory Bennett hit .400 and had a team-leading three doubles. Sophomore Tristin Doster and junior Grace Banes each had nine RBIs on the week.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Head Coach Clarissa Crowell is in her third season at Penn State. Coming off a historic 2022 campaign, the Nittany Lions enter the weekend with an 18-4 record and sit in second place in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions in 2023 have a record of 3-1 at home thus far. Penn State was picked to finish seventh in the Big Ten by D1 Softball. Their staff ERA of 2.14 is fourth best in the conference. Of their 18 wins this season, seven of them have come via the shutout.
NITTANY LION STAT LEADERS
AVG – Kaitlyn Morrison (.394)
H – Kaitlyn Morrison (26)
HR – Four players (3)
RBI – Lexie Black (19)
SB – Melody Coombs (15)
ERA – Bailey Parshall (1.36)
SO – Bailey Parshall (86)
W – Bailey Parshall (10)
Senior Nia Carter ranks first in the conference for BA (.485) and hits (49). She ranks second for OBP (.540) and toughest to strikeout. Carter is one of six players in the conference who has struck out less than four times on the season.
Junior Grace Banes leads the conference in triples (3). Freshman Tory Bennett is ranked eighth in the conference for hits (32). Junior Denali Loecker is ranked second in the Big Ten for RBIs (29).
BRINGING IT IN THE CIRCLE
The Hawkeyes have the third best staff ERA in the conference (1.94) and have recorded the most shutouts (8). Three of the Iowa pitchers are ranked in the top 10 in the conference for ERA. Senior Breanna Vasquez is leading the team with a 1.42 ERA, followed by freshman Jalen Adams with a 1.49 ERA and then Loecker with a 1.69 ERA.
Vasquez is ranked fourth in the conference in BA against (.164) and ranks eighth in strikeouts (74).
PLAYING THE BEST
The Hawkeyes will face 12 different teams that made the 2022 NCAA Tournament: Lehigh, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Princeton, South Florida, UT-Chattanooga, and Wisconsin. They will face four teams who advanced to the WCWS, Northwestern, Oregon State, UCLA, and national runner-up Texas.
The Hawkeyes are currently 4-5 in those games.