Iowa softball ready for four-game series in Madison

The 13-7 Hawkeyes will face the 5-15 Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy throws a pitch with a runner on first during a softball game at Pearl Field on Saturday, April 3 during a softball game between Iowa and Indiana. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 8-0 in five innings.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

The weekend, Iowa softball will travel to Madison for a four-game series with Wisconsin.

The Hawkeyes are currently 13-7 on the season — good for fifth in the Big Ten standings. The Badgers sit in a tie for 13th place in the league standings at 5-15.

Much Iowa’s success can be attributed to its starting pitchers: seniors Allison Doocy, Lauren Shaw, and Sarah Lehman. The Hawkeyes’ starting hurlers all rank inside the Big Ten’s top ten in ERA. Shaw is fifth with a 1.17 ERA, followed by Doocy in seventh with a 1.35, and Lehman in ninth with a 1.64.

Iowa’s pitchers also receive great a deal of backup from the Hawkeye infield. Iowa currently ranks 10th in the nation with a .980 fielding percentage.

With a series against an under-.500 team coming up this weekend, Hawkeye head coach Renee Gillispie believes her team needs to focus on itself to pick up victories against the Badgers.

“We stay focused on getting runners, moving runners,” Gillispie said. “We’ve been struggling on being able to score runners in scoring position over the last six weeks. But each week we are getting better and better at that. They’re starting to understand how to score and how to find good pitches to score them with.”

Freshman Lindy Milkowski has also played a pivotal for the Hawkeyes this season, batting .308 in 39 at-bats.

RELATED: Freshman Denali Loecker emerges as Iowa softball’s new two-way threat

Milkowski started the season as a pinch-hitter but has since found her way onto the field as a catcher, starting behind the dish in each of the Hawkeyes’ last three games.

Last Saturday against Indiana at Bob Pearl Field, Milkowski even hit her first career home run.

“I’m just trying to keep it simple right now,” Milkowski said. “And I’m just really focusing on my mechanics. I’m just looking to hit line drives and singles, and I’m just looking to help the team in any way that I can. If that means putting the bunt down, I put the bunt down. If that means hitting a line drive, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Excluding its two season-opening weekends in Leesburg, Florida, Iowa softball has not lost series this season. The Hawkeyes, however, have yet to win a series via sweep — a feat they’ll have their sights set on this weekend against one of the Big Ten’s weakest teams.

“It would be awesome to go 4-0,” Doocy said. “Stay locked in each game because at this point each game is just as important as the last. We need every win we can get with not knowing how regional play is going to look like. But I’m confident that everyone’s ready, had a few good practices to iron some things out and improve on some of our strengths as well, so I think we can go 4-0 and continue our momentum forward.”

Game one of the Hawkeyes’ quadruple header against the Badgers begins Friday at 3 p.m. Iowa and Wisconsin will then play two games on Saturday and a series finale on Sunday at noon.

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