Iowa softball sees first tests of season

Iowa softball is finally able to test itself in the Tiger Classic this weekend.

Iowa%27s+Allison+Doocy+smiles+between+innings+with+her+teammates+during+a+softball+game+against+Des+Moines+Area+Community+College+on+Friday%2C+Sep.+21%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Bears+8-1.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Iowa softball sees first tests of season

Iowa's Allison Doocy smiles between innings with her teammates during a softball game against Des Moines Area Community College on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears 8-1.

Iowa's Allison Doocy smiles between innings with her teammates during a softball game against Des Moines Area Community College on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears 8-1.

David Harmantas

Iowa's Allison Doocy smiles between innings with her teammates during a softball game against Des Moines Area Community College on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears 8-1.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Iowa's Allison Doocy smiles between innings with her teammates during a softball game against Des Moines Area Community College on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears 8-1.

Pete Mills, Sports Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Iowa softball is finally able to test its strength this weekend in its first games of the new season.

The team will head to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for four games in the 2019 Tiger Classic today and Saturday. It will have a chance to take on Bucknell, Tulsa, and No. 10 LSU twice.

The Hawkeyes will bring with them a new culture initiated by first-year head coach Renee Gillispie.

She gained immediate affection from her players, and the changes she has made have been supported and well-received.

“Our goal is to win every series that we play, so we’re going to play our hearts out and hopefully bring home a bunch of wins,” said utility player Aralee Bogar, who hit .277 last season. “The passion is incredibly different because we’re confident.”

David Harmantas
Iowa’s Allison Doocy winds up to pitch during a softball game against Des Moines Area Community College on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears 8-1.

The players will gain valuable insight this weekend, especially because they will face powerhouse LSU.

The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals last season before elimination and finished with a 45-17 record.

LSU has two superstars in its lineup this season in Aliyah Andrews and Amanda Sanchez, both of whom were selected to the Preseason All-SEC Team. Andrews stole 42 bases and hit .329 last season, and Sanchez posted an on-base percentage of .679.

Tough competition doesn’t faze Gillispie. Included in her long résumé during her time at Central Florida are four NCAA regional-final appearances, so she’s no stranger to teams of LSU’s caliber.

In the early stages of her development of the Iowa softball program, Gillispie has realistic expectations. Even more important than wins, she said, is bringing pride back.

“We want to put a great product out there, we want to have a great attitude,” she said. ‘We want to see the heart of these kids playing again on the field, and I think that’s what our community wants, too.”

She already has some immediate weapons to help her do this.

Iowa’s ace, Allison Doocy, will take the mound this weekend fresh off an All-Big Ten junior season. She racked up a 1.81 ERA last season, putting her at fourth in the conference.

Even with a dominant 2018, Doocy feels positive change coming in this new season.

“We came in with this new passion,” she said. “It’s been great to see it. We’ve got a lot of new light in this team, and we’ve been doing great things in practice. We’re working hard for ourselves but also our teammates.”

Returning on the offensive side is Bogar, Iowa’s most powerful returning hitter. She proved to be a strong weapon in several areas — she knocked 46 hits last season and led the team in triples, while stealing 23 bases in 23 attempts.

“We’re not afraid to go all out and play our hardest, and I think you’re going to see that drive,” she said.

Along with the veterans, fans will get a look at fresh faces this weekend. DoniRae Mayhew dominated at Kirkwood last season before transferring to Iowa, leading the junior-college level with 30 home runs.

The team will face Bucknell and LSU today, then take on Tulsa and LSU for a second time on Saturday.