April 2015

Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/488386

Contents of this Issue


Page 144 of 156

145 conference play," said Blank. "Every game is going to be a battle. Every team is going to put up a fight." For the Hawkeyes, finding success starts with learning a new routine. Aer six weeks on the road, Iowa returned to Pearl Field to open the Big Ten season against Maryland from March 20-22. "We were excited to get on our own field," said Blank. "We don't have to worry about (air) travel, because we will bus everywhere from here on out. It will be a test for us to have to form a new routine, but it was exciting to be able to play on our own field." While the routine is new, the competition is not. "We are familiar with our opponents and they are familiar with us," said fih-year head coach Marla Looper. "We have to go in and be ready to attack the game. We have to play our game, and not try to play our opponent." Blank agrees. "If we play our game I think we can compete with and beat anybody." e Hawkeyes face eight conference opponents in the second half of their season in Maryland, Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, and Northwestern. Iowa also travels to Drake and Missouri and hosts Iowa State and Western Illinois before the Big Ten Tournament on May 7-9. With the 2014 conference expansion, the Hawkeyes are fighting for one of 10 spots in the Big Ten Tournament. T he University of Iowa soball team enters the second half of its season — the Big Ten Conference schedule — with a clean slate. With conference play underway, the Hawkeyes (10- 22 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) are ready to make the most of the latter half of their season. "Having a new start is refreshing," said senior shortstop Megan Blank. "It gives us some confidence heading into the second half of the season." Tough is an understatement when describing Iowa's nonconference schedule. e Hawkeyes faced five teams currently ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 poll (No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Oregon, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 Louisiana-Lafayette, and No. 20 Central Florida) in the first six weeks of the season. "We obviously didn't meet our expectations for the preseason, so conference is going to be our chance to make the postseason," said Blank. "We have to leave the past in the past, learn from it, and move on." Going up against some of the top teams in the country has prepared Iowa for Big Ten competition. Five Big Ten teams went to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, and Michigan (No. 4) and Minnesota (No. 15) are currently ranked in the top 25. "We have had a pretty tough nonconference schedule," said redshirt sophomore pitcher Shayla Starkenburg. "I think it has prepared us for what's to come. All the Big Ten schools are good, but we've already played some of the best teams in the country." "Our nonconference schedule challenged us every weekend which is how it is going to be in APRIL SCHEDULE April 2 Western Illinois April 3-5 Illinois April 10-12 at Wisconsin April 15 Iowa State April 17-19 at Purdue April 22 at Missouri (DH) April 24-26 at Minnesota

Articles in this issue

view archives of HAWK TALK - April 2015