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

Three takeaways from week one of Big Ten softball schedule

Big Ten softball opened conference play this past weekend. Here are some key takeaways from the weekend.
Emily Nyberg
Iowa players cheer in the dugout during a softball game between Iowa and Rutgers at the Bob Pearl Softball Field in Iowa City on Friday, April 28, 2023. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Hawkeyes 5-3.

Big Ten softball teams opened conference play this past weekend. Iowa went 2-1 against Wisconsin. Here are three key takeaways.

Northwestern Wildcats sweep the Michigan State Spartans

After winning a Big Ten Championship just a season ago, the Northwestern Wildcats started 3-0 in the conference against the Michigan State Spartans.

The Wildcats started the series off with a respectable 5-1 victory over the Spartans. Graduate student-athlete Ashley Miller pitched a gem for the Wildcats, throwing a complete game and striking out nine Spartans.

Second-year outfielder Kelsey Nader and second-year infielder Kansas Robinson had great games offensively, both homering in game one.

Nader contributed to almost all of Northwestern’s runs with four RBIs off three hits. Nader’s three-run homer in the sixth inning helped propel the Wildcats over Michigan State in game one. Robinson’s solo home run came in the fourth inning.

Northwestern followed with an 11-3 win in five innings. Robinson and Nader both continued their success at the plate by each blasting home runs in the first inning.

After allowing three runs to the Spartans in the fifth inning, the Wildcats responded with a six-run inning of their own. After a streak of unearned runs from the Spartans, Nader hit another home run, this time bringing in two Wildcats.

The Wildcats concluded the series with a 4-0 win against the Spartans. The Wildcats had three home runs and a sac-fly to get the win against MSU. Miller pitched another great outing for Northwestern, throwing a complete game and retiring 10 Spartans.

Indiana Hoosiers start out 0-3 after finishing second in conference last season

After a second-place finish in the Big Ten a season ago, the Indiana Hoosiers find themselves in a bit of a hole, dropping all three games to Penn State to start conference play.

The Hoosiers dropped game one to the Nittany Lions in a pitcher’s duel. There were only five combined hits between both teams in game one. Third-year pitcher Brianna Copeland pitched a complete game for Indiana, striking out five and allowing four hits.

First-year phenom Bridget Nemeth added another win to her perfect pitching record. Indiana only recorded one hit on the day.

Game two for the Hoosiers went better offensively, but it was still not enough to take down Nemeth, whose win/loss record was a perfect 12-0 at the end of the game.

Indiana started with two runs in the first inning after a two-run homer from catcher Avery Parker. This would be the last run for Indiana until the seventh inning when second basemen Aly VanBrandt brought in Copeland on an RBI single.

Nemeth picked up her 13th win of the season as Indiana dropped game three. Indiana recorded six hits on the day but struggled to bring any runners in.

Penn State continued its dominance over the weekend, scoring five runs on nine hits.

Illinois and Purdue continue to struggle in conference play

After a disappointing season last year in the conference, both Illinois and Purdue continue to struggle in Big Ten play.

Illinois dropped two games to Nebraska. The first game went into extra innings, but the Fighting Illini couldn’t find a way to win.

Illinois is struggling on the defensive side, currently sitting in last place in the Big Ten for fielding. It is also in the bottom of the pack for fielding and hitting in the conference.

Illinois then dropped game two to Nebraska in five innings, losing 16-6. The final game of the series was canceled due to weather.

Purdue struggled offensively in its series against the Michigan Wolverines, only scoring five runs in three games. The Boilermakers average about 1.67 runs per game in conference play thus far.

Purdue also struggled on the defensive side, allowing a total of 24 runs in three games. Allowing eight runs per game is going to make it very hard for the Boilermakers to find success in the Big Ten.

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About the Contributor
Emily Nyberg
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.