The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Softball eyes Tigers burning bright

Peter Kim
Iowa Softball team practices during the media day at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Iowa opens the season Feb. 12 at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Tournament in Corpus Christie, Texas. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

After failing to win the rubber match against Wisconsin on Sunday at Pearl Field (3-1), the softball Hawkeyes will have a chance to get the bad taste out of their mouths right away.

The team will welcome Missouri into Iowa City today in a double-header.

The Hawkeyes, (12-28, 2-11 Big Ten) were coming off a two-straight wins last week but couldn’t get things going for the most part against the Badgers.

Before the Tigers come into town, though, the Hawks should focus on improving their defense.

Iowa won the second game of the series against the Badgers but lost the first and last. Pitcher Shayla Starkenburg had a solid game in the circle for the Hawkeyes, but the defense behind her couldn’t follow through.

Starkenburg pitched the entire contest for the Hawks, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs, 2 earned. The redshirt junior struck out 4 and walked 2. In fact, she had a no-hitter heading into the fifth inning. However a double down the third base line from Wisconsin’s Samantha Arenths stopped that.

Aside from the redshirt junior’s success, the team defense wasn’t up to par. Iowa committed 3 errors, two in the first inning and 1 in the sixth. As a result, Wisconsin enjoyed success on the Hawks’ last error, which led to the game-winning run.

RELATED: Hawks play softball, Badgers play hardball

Thus far in conference play Iowa has committed 15 errors, tied for sixth with Purdue.

Redshirt senior Holy Hoffman noted after the game that Iowa head coach Marla Looper always emphasizes on not “doing too much.” Hoffman believes “doing too much” leads to lackluster defense.

“Our intensity just dropped off at the end, and we couldn’t get it back,” she said. “If you try to do too much, that’s where you’re going to fail. I think some people just did too much, and I think we got caught up in that.”

In order for Iowa to have success on defense, Looper noted after the game, the Hawks need to have two out of three parts of the game going for them.

“We just have to take advantage of the opportunities we have,” Looper said.

Hopefully, when the Tigers roll around, the Hawks can have their plans set because it won’t be an easy fight.

Missouri has a solid record of 29-12, 6-9 in SEC play. Five Tigers are hitting above .330: Sami Fagan (.430), Taylor Gadbois (.419), Emily Crane (.397), Regan Nash (.368), and Chloe Rathburn (.352).

Danielle Baumgartner leads the team with a 2.05 ERA and has a 12-3 record in the circle.

More to Discover