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

One last road rodeo for softball

Iowa infield Kaitlyn Mullarkey catches the ball at Bob Pearl Softball Field on Saturday, Apr 23, 2016. Iowa defeated the Penn State, 4-1. (The Daily Iowan/Peter Kim)

The Hawkeye softball team will compete in its last road game of the season against Iowa State at 4 p.m. today.

Iowa recently just competed on the road against Illinois and finished 0-3 in the series. The Hawkeyes are just 1-16 in true road games this season.

“It’s rough fighting,” catcher Holly Hoffman said. “Especially in games where you’re really hoping for a comeback, and it doesn’t happen. It’s a bit of a letdown, but we win and lose as a team, and we all realize that. It’s tough, sometimes.”

However, Iowa leads the Cyclones in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, 12-10. Iowa owns a 32-29-2 advantage in the all-time series.

If the Hawkeyes win, they will have a clean sweep of all three other Division-1 in-state schools. They beat Northern Iowa, 6-3, on April 12 and put down Drake, 8-7, the day after.

The Cyclones defeated the Hawkeyes, 5-4, in at Pearl Field last season.

Iowa State is 19-29, 1-11 in conference play and struggling nearly as much as the Hawkeyes this season.

Four Cyclones are hitting above .300 so far. Brittany Gomez (.408), Aly Cappaert (.359), Cathlin Bingham (.300), and Kelsey McFarland (.302). Emma Hylen leads the team in the circle with a 4.51 ERA and an 8-11 record.

Iowa will likely counter Hylen with either Shayla Starkenburg (5.45 ERA) or Elizabeth Wiegand (3.86 ERA) in its circle.

The Hawkeyes offense this year has flowed through redshirt senior Hoffman, who is hitting .407 in conference play. In 20 of Iowa’s Big Ten games, Hoffman is slugging .763. She has also registered 12 extra-base hits (7 doubles, 1 triples, and 4 home runs).

She ranks third in the Big Ten with those doubles. She also ranks eighth in total bases (45), ninth in slugging, 12th in hits (24), and 14th in batting average.

Sammi Gyerman is the Hawkeyes only other player who has a batting average of over .300 (minimum 20 at-bats) and is the other major power hitter in the lineup.

Aside from Hoffman’s and Gyerman’s success, the Hawks are tied for seventh in Big Ten play with 17 stolen bases. Iowa’s pitchers have struck out 27 batters, sixth-most in Big Ten play.

With only four contests remaining, Iowa is itching for success and hoping to land it. With the way things look now, though, the Hawks chances at playing in the Big Ten Tournament are slim.

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