Notes: Hawkeyes Close Out Spring Break

The University of Iowa softball team continue their west coast spring break trip with a midweek matchup at St. Mary’s before heading to Stockton. In Stockton they will face Pacific and Sacramento State, each two times before heading back to Iowa.

The games against St. Mary’s and Pacific will be streamed on ESPN+ ($). Live updates will be available on X (@iowasoftball).

The Hawkeyes went 2-4 in the first half of the spring break trip in California. They had victories over CSU Bakersfield and San Jose State on Friday. They fell to  Santa Clara in a Saturday doubleheader before falling to LMU and UC Davis.

Junior Rylie Moss hit .600 over the six games with five runs scored and two RBIs. Senior Sammy Diaz hit .444 with three RBIs and two extra base hits.

Head Coach Sonja Garnett is in her sixth season leading the Gaels. They enter the matchup with Iowa with a 12-9 record. St. Mary’s has five hitters hitting over .300 led by Sam Buckley who is hitting .385 with 16 RBIs. The Gaels pitching staff has a 2.94 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .242 BA against. Mia Nishikawa has four wins on the season with a 1.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts. They were picked to finish second in the WCC preseason coaches poll.

The Tigers enter the weekend with an 8-15 record. They are set to face North Dakota State in a midweek matchup before facing the Hawkeyes on Friday afternoon. Offensively Pacific is led by Olivia Silvestre who is hitting .400 with 11 RBIs. Rian Dirmeyer leads the team with five home runs. In the circle Avery Croxall has picked up three wins in 36.1 innings of work and has a 0.96 ERA.

The Hornets enter the weekend with a record of 15-7. They are set to face #9 Stanford in a midweek doubleheader before facing the Hawkeyes on Friday. Sac State has six hitters over .300 led by Alexis Parish who is hitting .419. Lewa Day is right behind her hitting .391 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs. The Hornets are hitting .319 as a team. Marissa Bertuccio is the work horse in the circle with seven wins in 13 appearances and holds a 1.87 ERA.  Sac State was picked to finish third in the Big Sky preseason coaches poll.

10 Hawkeyes hail from Iowa, seven from California, three from Arizona, two from Alabama and one each from Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri. The roster is comprised of nine freshmen, seven sophomores, eight juniors, and three seniors. There are 18 returning letterwinners and nine newcomers.

The Hawkeyes will face 10 different teams that made the 2023 NCAA Tournament: Harvard, Indiana, Liberty, LMU, Minnesota, NCCU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, SIU and Utah. The Utes are the lone team that the Hawkeyes will face who advanced to the 2023 WCWS.

Junior Rylie Moss is having a breakout season thus far. She has started every game in right field for Iowa and is leading the team offensively hitting .435. She is ranked fourth in the Big Ten for BA. Moss has reached base in each of the past 11 games.

Junior Devyn Greer has a 0.91 ERA in 23.0 innings of work. Her ERA is ranked fourth in the Big Ten. She has held hitters to a .225 batting average against.

The Hawkeyes had five athletes start every game thus far. Four of those athletes are hitting .300 or above, led by Rylie Moss who is hitting .435. Freshman Soo-Jin Berry leads the team with 11 RBIs on the season.

Grace Banes – CF

Soo-Jin Berry – 3rd Base

Sammy Diaz – 1st Base

Rylie Moss – RF

Jena Young – SS

The Hawkeyes return 2023 Big Ten All-freshman selection Jalen Adams and NFCA third-team All-Region honoree Tatianna Roman for the 2024 season.

Pitching coach Mandy Gardner helped improve the staff ERA tremendously in one season at Iowa. The Hawkeyes ERA dropped 2.46 points from 2022 to 2023.

To start the 2024 season the pitching staff has a 3.06 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .279 batting average against. Sophomore Jalen Adams has thrown six complete games in nine starts. Junior Devyn Greer leads the Hawkeye staff with a 0.91 ERA which has her ranked fourth in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes are set to host the 2024 Big Ten Conference Tournament in May. The tournament returns to Iowa City for the first time since the 2003 season.

Iowa was picked to finish 11th in the in the conference by Softball America and 13th by D1 Softball.