The University of Iowa softball team travels to Fort Collins, Colorado for the National Invitational Softball Championships. The Hawkeyes will be the two-seed in the tournament and will face UC Davis in the first round on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.
WATCH AND FOLLOW LIVE
All games will be streamed on the Triple Crown Sports YouTube page. Live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com and updates will be available on Twitter (@iowasoftball).
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes were at the Big Ten Tournament in Champaign, Ill. The made it to the quarterfinals after defeating Maryland, 7-1, in the first round. Senior Nia Carter and freshman Tory Bennett each had two hits in the game. Carter led the team with two RBIs and three runs scored. In the seventh inning she became the single-season hit leader at Iowa on an RBI double. Jalen Adams threw a complete game allowing one unearned run on three hits and struck out two Terrapin hitters.
In the quarterfinals, the Hawkeyes faced top-seeded, and 18th ranked Northwestern. Carter had two hits in the game and scored Iowa’s only run. Adams was perfect in 2.2 innings of relief.
Carter was named to the all-tournament team.
NATIONAL INVITATIONAL SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The NISC is operated, supervised, and directed by Triple Crown Sports and College Sports Eval, a sports event company based in Fort Collins, Colorado, with endorsement from the NFCA. A committee determined the invitation-only field using NCAA Softball Final RPI, win/loss record, last 10 games played, key injuries or additions, consideration of teams with 30+ wins, and other pertinent information gathered on all considered teams.
The tournament will be a double-elimination tournament played over consecutive days. The tournament concludes with a four-team single elimination championship bracket.
This is Iowa’s first postseason appearance since 2009.
The Hawkeyes will face either Tarleton State or South Dakota State in game two.
SCOUTING UC DAVIS
Head Coach Erin Thorpe is in her ninth season leading the Aggies. They finished the 2023 regular season with a 29-20 record and was fourth place in the Big West conference. They finished their season with a series win over Hawaii taking two of three games. Their team batting average of .270 and ERA of 2.30 were second best in the conference. The Aggies have four players ranked in the top 20 in the Big West for batting average, led by Anna Dethlefson who is ranked second with a .407 average. Dethlefson was just named the 2023 Big West Player of the Year. As a team, they were second in the conference with 76 stolen bases. They led the Big West in doubles.
AGGIE STAT LEADERS
AVG – Anna Dethlefson (.407)
H – Anna Dethlefson (61)
HR – Two players with 4
RBI – Libbie McMahan (27)
SB – Anna Dethlefson (40)
ERA – Kenedi Brown (1.73)
SO – Kenedi Brown (146)
W – Kenedi Brown (15)
Senior Nia Carter ranks first in the conference for BA (.480), hits (96), and toughest to strike out. Carter’s BA is third in the nation and is ranked second in the nation for hits. She ranks fourth in the conference for OBP (.522). Carter is one of six players in the conference who has struck out less than nine times on the season.
Freshman Tory Bennett is ranked for 12th in the conference for hits (58) and sophomore Tatianna Roman is tied for 14th with 56.
The Hawkeyes have four student-athletes who have started all 58 games this season. Three of 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 (232).
Loecker ranks sixth all-time in career home runs (23).
Klosterman is one hit away from 100 in her career.
Outfielder Nia Carter set the single-season hit record at Iowa with 96 hits this season. She is 10 hits away from breaking the single-season Big Ten record.
Carter was named to the first-team all-Big Team selection in 2023.