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

Iowa softball notebook | Three takeaways from Hawkeyes’ weekend series loss to Indiana

The Hoosiers swept the Hawkeyes, 3-0.
Jerod Ringwald
Iowa head coach Renee Gillispie talks with her players during a softball game between Iowa and Indiana at Pearl Field on Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 1-0.

The Iowa softball team has lost nine consecutive conference games after failing to pick up a win over Indiana this weekend.

The Hawkeye schedule does not get any easier, though, as the Black and Gold face a grueling five-game conference schedule next week leading up to the Big Ten Tournament.

In this weekend’s series with Indiana, Iowa was swept.

The Hoosiers won the first game, 8-0, and during the second game of the weekend, the Hawkeyes continued to struggle at the plate and lost, 9-1. In the final game, Iowa saw some improvements offensively — but not enough as the Hoosiers won again, 7-3. 

Difficulties at the plate 

This season for the Iowa softball team has consisted of many ups and downs in the hitting department. 

Currently, Iowa ranks second-to-last in batting average in the Big Ten conference. The Hawkeyes also rank dead last in many batting categories, including hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, and total bases. 

In the first two games against Indiana, the Hawkeyes only put up one run and five total team hits. Indiana scored 17 runs on 22 hits during the same timeframe. 

During the last game of the series, Iowa scored three runs and totaled seven hits, but that obviously was not enough to fuel a win. 

“It’s hard right now,” head coach Renee Gillispie said. “We are getting a couple of sweeps in the last couple of weeks, and it’s just hard to get your head up and get focused. Today’s game, we focused on ourselves and what we can do.”

Iowa relies heavily on defense to make plays

On the other hand, pitching has been somewhat of a bright spot for the Iowa softball team. 

The Hawkeyes currently sit with a respectable 3.15 team ERA, which is fifth in the Big Ten. However, the Hawkeyes sit dead last in the conference in total strikeouts with 130. In comparison, the next closest team is Purdue with 145 strikeouts. 

During Friday and Saturday’s games, Iowa only recorded one strikeout. This puts pressure on the Hawkeye defense to step up and make plays when the ball is in the field. 

One slip up on the defense has proven to be disastrous for the Hawkeyes. This became apparent in the fourth inning of game two when the Hoosiers took advantage of two Iowa errors to take a 3-1 lead that the Hawkeyes could not recover from.

The Hawkeye pitching staff and defense finished the weekend with eight strikeouts, 21 walks, and three errors.

Big week ahead in conference play 

The Hawkeyes have a short turnaround after the weekend series against Indiana. Iowa is set to travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, for a double-header on April 23. 

“You’ve got five games in six days,” said Gillsipie. “We just have to be resilient right now, being able to take care of business on Tuesday and then focus on what we can do against Minnesota [next].” 

Nebraska is currently in fourth place in the Big Ten. As a squad, the Cornhuskers have six hitters batting over the .300 mark and are led by infielder Billie Andrews, who is hitting an impressive .382 on the season. 

After Tuesday’s double-header, Iowa returns to Bob Pearl Field for a three-game series against Minnesota. The Gophers are seventh place in the Big Ten at 9-8. 

Minnesota bats .293 as a team and has 589 total bases on the season. Iowa only has 309. Look for the Iowa defense to be on its toes against an offensive-oriented Gopher squad at the end of this week.

Iowa is set to host the Big Ten Tournament this year at Bob Pearl Field. Games are set to start on May 8 and will continue through the title game on May 11.

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About the Contributor
Jerod Ringwald, Creative Director
Jerod Ringwald is the Creative Director at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. He was previously a managing editor this past summer as well as a former photo editor. During his sophomore year, he worked as a photojournalist covering news and sports.