Momentum and confidence shift through wins and losses

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Momentum and confidence shift through wins and losses

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up during a softball game against Valparaiso at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Friday, March 17, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 3-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up during a softball game against Valparaiso at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Friday, March 17, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 3-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up during a softball game against Valparaiso at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Friday, March 17, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 3-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up during a softball game against Valparaiso at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Friday, March 17, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Crusaders, 3-0. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Anna Kayser, [email protected]

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Coming off the first weekend of competition, the Iowa softball team has high confidence and composure inside the circle that can lead the team.

Sophomore Allison Doocy started off the Mardi Gras Invitational on Feb. 9 pitching a shutout against Illinois-Chicago to set the tone for the week.

“Pitches weren’t always where she wanted them to be, but she was able to at least make them move enough that it forced the hitters to swing and miss or miss hit, or then eventually throw a change up in there to keep them off balance,” head coach Marla Looper said.

Despite Iowa falling in its next three games, the takeaways from Doocy’s first pitching performance give both the pitching staff and the coaches the confidence needed to build on the outing.

“I really like how she commanded the field,” Looper said. “Her presence maintained that high level from first pitch to last pitch, it never wavered, and that’s a big plus that I liked seeing.”

Freshman Lauren Shaw followed Doocy in the first day of competition. Against Eastern Illinois, Shaw only lasted 2.2 innings. Kenzie Ihle and Erin Riding finished out the game on the way to a 4-2 loss.

RELATED: Pitching and offense struggle as Iowa drops three

Although the Hawkeyes didn’t repeat the outcome of the first game, as far as learning opportunities go, Doocy’s a good starting point on the weekend.

“It inspires me a lot,” Shaw said. “It’s kind of like a challenge, like she did that good. Can I do the same? Can I be there for the team like she was for the team? How can I make myself better to help the team in a way that she did?”

While the team always wants to add tallies in the win column, the losses in the beginning of the season provide learning opportunities to help the team improve.

“We definitely started out strong with our first win and that’s great momentum to keep going,” Shaw said. “You learn a lot more from losses than you learn from wins, so we had that momentum, but we also had a lesson to work on this week to take us into next week and the following weekends.”

Shaw started Sunday in Iowa’s second game against Illinois-Chicago, taking the loss, 6-4. Doocy followed later that afternoon against No. 24 Louisiana-Lafayette.

Against a stronger offensive team than she had previously faced, it was tougher for Doocy to hold her composure through the whole game.

“If she can maintain what she did on Friday and even with little spurts of it like on Sunday, she’s going to take our team a long way through the season,” Looper said.

The biggest factor for Doocy’s success is her confidence.

Last season, it took her a while to feel like she fit in with the team. After realizing the team is where she belongs, she will try to improve on that feeling throughout the season.

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