Iowa softball notebook | Hawkeyes prepare for series against Minnesota and the rest of the regular season

With only three Big Ten series left in the regular season, the Hawkeyes want to close out the year strong.


Emily Nyberg

Iowa pitcher Devyn Greer throws a pitch during the first game of a softball doubleheader between Iowa and no. 20 Northwestern on Sunday, April 2, 2023. The Wildcats beat the Hawkeyes 5-0.

Charlie Fox, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball finished with a 1-2 record in its series against Maryland from April 14-15.

First, the Hawkeyes lost to the Terrapins in a doubleheader, 5-2 and 2-0.

In the first matchup, Iowa couldn’t get the job done despite out-hitting the Terrapins, 7-6. The Hawkeyes got two runs from sophomore Haley Downe and junior Denali Loecker, both coming from singles.

Game two on Friday was even more of a struggle for the Hawkeyes, only getting two hits and leaving five runners on base while being held off the scoresheet.

Iowa took down the Terrapins on Saturday in a game that didn’t see any runs until the sixth inning. Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the final inning, sophomore Rylie Moss scored off a single from freshman Anna Streff. Senior Nia Carter followed with a walk-off RBI, sealing Iowa’s 27th victory of the season, 2-1

But Carter felt nothing but calm under pressure while standing at the plate.

“I think just staying in the game and not letting the moment get too big was a big key for us to come back,” Carter said. “Once Anna [Streff] hit the tying run and I was up to bat, I just knew I had to get the job done as a senior and as a leader to get the win.”

The senior right fielder has seen more of a leadership role to go along with her stellar play. This season, Streff has seen Carter as a mentor.

“With her playing right field and being right behind me, we talk and communicate a lot,” Streff said. “She’s always there letting me know where and when I need to be somewhere, so she’s really helpful.”

The weekend’s outcome shifted the Hawkeye’s conference record to 8-6 overall.

The Hawkeyes then traveled to Macomb, Illinois, on Wednesday where they beat the Western Illinois Leathernecks, 7-1. Both Carter and freshman Tory Bennett scored twice.

With the victory, Iowa head coach Renee Gillispie said every nonconference game is just as important as the next.

“For us, we want to be able to help our hitters relax, get refocused on what we need to do,” Gillispie said. “Even though their record doesn’t show it, Western Illinois took a game against [23-16] North Dakota State, so we can’t take it lightly.”

Looking forward

Iowa will travel to Minneapolis to play another conference series against Minnesota.

The Gophers head into the series with a 25-16 and 9-2 record at home. They won two games against the Spartans last week, with the highlight of the weekend being a 13-1 victory on April 14.

With this being one of the final conference series ahead of the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes are preparing to close the season strong.

“We obviously want to close out the season really strong,” Carter said. “We haven’t really changed anything in practice. We’re doing the same thing since it’s been working for us, so I just think we come into every series knowing that we’ve played the best and have competed with the best and nobody should beat us, and if we lose it’s because we lost to ourselves and not them.”