The University of Iowa softball team travels to Minneapolis for a three-game series with Minnesota. They will open the series on Friday with the first pitch at at 3 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s matchup is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and the Sunday finale will start at noon.
WATCH AND LISTEN LIVE
All three games will be streamed on the B1G+ and will also be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Lucas Strain on the call. Fans can access the stream free on YouTube. Live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com and updates will be available on Twitter (@ iowasoftball).
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes hosted Maryland in a three-game series at home. The Terrapins took the series two games to one. The offense throughout the weekend was at a premium, as Iowa had 15 hits across three games. Senior Nia Carter continued her tear as she hit .455 on the weekend and had the game walk-off hit in game three. She was the only Hawkeye hitter to reach base in every game of the series.
The pitching staff had a 1.67 ERA in the series, led by Breanna Vasquez who threw 14 innings with a 1.50 ERA and struck out nine Terrapin hitters. She picked up her 15th win of the season on Saturday.
Iowa has had four Big Ten schedule changes due to weather this season. The Forecast in Minneapolis on Friday is a high of 42 low of 32 with a chance of rain and snow. Saturday is a high of 38 and low of 27. Sunday calls for a high of 41 and a low of 28.
Head Coach Piper Ritter is in her third season at Minnesota. They enter the weekend with a 25-16 record and 6-6 in the Big Ten. The Gophers have five wins over ranked opponents this season. They have won three out of four Big Ten Series thus far with wins over Penn State, Indiana, and Michigan State. Minnesota has a 9-2 record at home in 2023. Coming into the weekend the Gophers are ranked eighth in the conference for BA (.278) and fourth for ERA (2.51). Senior pitcher Autumn Pease was selected in the second round of the Women’s Fastpitch Draft this past week by the Texas Smoke.
GOLDEN GOPHER STAT LEADERS
AVG – Taylor Krapf (.372)
H – Kayla Chavez (48)
HR – Taylor Krapf (11)
RBI – Taylor Krapf (35)
SB – Two players with 6
ERA – Autumn Pease (1.72)
SO – Autumn Pease (182)
W – Autumn Pease (17)
Senior Nia Carter ranks first in the conference for BA (.471), hits (74), and toughest to strike out. Carter’s BA is seventh in the nation and is ranked second in the nation for hits. She ranks fourth in the conference for OBP (.517). Carter is one of five players in the conference who has struck out less than six times on the season.
Junior Grace Banes is tied for fourth in the conference for triples (3). Freshman Tory Bennett is tied for ninth in the conference for hits (47).
BRINGING IT IN THE CIRCLE
The Hawkeyes have the best staff ERA in the conference (2.25) and are tied for fifth with eight shutouts. Three of the Iowa pitchers are ranked in the top 10 in the conference for ERA. Vasquez is leading the team with a with a 1.79 ERA (7th in B1G) followed by Loecker who has the eighth best ERA in the conference (1.94) and Adams is 10th with a 2.24 ERA. Iowa is one of two teams in the conference to have multiple pitchers in the top 10.
Vasquez is ranked third in the conference in BA against (.193) and ranks sixth in strikeouts (124). Loecker is ranked second in nation and conference for saves (6)
Iowa has had three freshman who have started in at least 60% of the games this season. Tory Bennett has started in all 45 games thus far at shortstop and is third on the team in hitting (.318).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Carter currently is ranked 11th all-time in career hits (210).
Carter’s 74 hits this season is tied for 15th in a single-season at Iowa.
Loecker ranks eighth all-time in career home runs (21).
Vasquez is seven strikeouts away from 400 in her career.
Klosterman is seven hits away from 100 in her career.