The University of Iowa softball team travels to Madison for their final Big Ten series at Wisconsin. They open the series on Friday with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m. (CT). Saturday and Sunday’s matchups are both scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
WATCH AND LISTEN LIVE
Friday’s game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington and Jennie Ritter on the call. Saturday and Sunday’s games will be streamed on B1G+. All three games will be broadcast live on Hawkeye Radio Network with Lucas Strain. Fans can access the stream free on YouTube. Live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com and updates will be available on Twitter (@iowasoftball).
𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙈𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙤𝙣 🚌
Weekend details ⬇#Hawkeyes
— Iowa Softball (@iowasoftball) May 4, 2023
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes come into the weekend going 2-2 in their last four games. They took the weekend series over Rutgers (2-1) before falling to in state rival Northern Iowa in a midweek matchup on Wednesday.
Five Hawkeye hitters hit over .300 in the Rutgers series. Nia Carter went 7-for-11 with four RBIs. Denali Loecker got back on track hitting .455 with two home runs and eight RBIs in three games. Jalen Adams and Devyn Greer each picked up a win in the circle and Loecker got two saves.
Against UNI Carter and Tristin Doster each recorded two hits for Iowa. Grace Banes had the Hawkeye’s only RBI in the game. Adams had a shutdown relief appearance going 3.1 innings allowing no runs on two hits.
Coming into the weekend both Iowa and Wisconsin are in the middle of the Big Ten standings. The Hawkeyes are in a three-way tie for fifth at 10-10 and the Badgers are 9-10. This three-game series will have major implications on the Big Ten Conference Tournament seeding.
Head Coach Yvette Healy is in her 13th season leading the Badgers. They are 24-19 overall with a 9-10 record in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is currently tied with Penn State for eighth in the conference. The Badgers have three hitters batting over .300, with Katie Keller leading the way at .357. Kayla Konwent has a team best nine home runs and 29 RBI’s. As a team, Wisconsin bats .263 – which is 12th in the Big Ten. Maddie Schwartz leads the way on the mound for the Badgers with a 1.79 ERA in 33 appearances. She has eight complete games and is allowing opponents to hit .243. As a staff, the Badgers have the third best ERA (2.43).
BADGER STAT LEADERS
AVG – Katie Keller (.357)
H – Katie Keller (46)
HR – Kayla Konwent (9)
RBI – Kayla Konwent (29)
SB – Peyton Bannon (8)
ERA – Maddie Schwartz (1.79)
SO – Paytn Monticelli (73)
W – Maddie Schwartz (9)
Senior Nia Carter ranks first in the conference for BA (.484), hits (89), and toughest to strike out. Carter’s BA is fourth in the nation and is ranked second in the nation for hits. She ranks third in the conference for OBP (.529). Carter is one of six players in the conference who has struck out less than seven times on the season.
Freshman Tory Bennett is tied for 12th in the conference for hits (54) and sophomore Tatianna Roman is ranked 15th with 52.
BRINGING IT IN THE CIRCLE
The Hawkeyes pitching staff ERA is fifth in the conference (2.48). Three of the Iowa pitchers are ranked in the top 15 in the conference for ERA. Adams is leading the team with a with a 2.06 ERA (7th in B1G) followed by Vasquez who has the 11th best ERA in the conference (2.37) and Loecker is 12th with a 2.48 ERA.
Vasquez is ranked fifth in the conference in BA against (.206) and ranks eighth in strikeouts (132). Loecker is ranked second in the conference for saves (8).
Iowa has four freshman who have appeared in at least 50% of the games this season. Tory Bennett has started in all 53 games thus far at shortstop and is third on the team in hitting (.312).
The Hawkeyes have four student-athletes who have started all 53 games this season. The off the four are the team’s leading hitters. Senior Nia Carter and sophomore Tatianna Roman has been the main stay in right and center field respectively. In the infield junior Sammy Diaz has started every game at first base and freshman Tory Bennett has made her home at shortstop.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Carter currently is ranked eighth all-time in career hits (225).
Carter’s 89 hits this season has her ranked third in a single-season at Iowa
Loecker ranks sixth all-time in career home runs (23).
Klosterman is three hits away from 100 in her career.