Iowa softball ready for ranked opponents

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 02, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa softball team will face two ranked opponents this weekend in the Hall of Fame Tournament in Oklahoma City.

The Hawkeyes will first compete in two games against No. 23 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. on Friday and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Iowa will play No. 9 Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on March 4.

The Hawkeyes are 8-6 after playing in three pre-conference tournaments, but they have lost to both ranked opponents they've challenged thus far. Iowa was on the wrong side of a 4-0 shutout against No. 7 Baylor and fell to No. 5 Arizona State, 5-2.

Hawkeye pitching could give the team the upper hand against Oklahoma State. Iowa hurlers Chelsea Lyon and Kayla Massey have 2.90 and 0.99 ERAs, respectively. Cowgirl pitchers have a combined 3.25 ERA.

The Oklahoma games will probably be pitching duels, though. The Sooners' Keilani Ricketts carries a 1.56 ERA, and Michelle Gascoigne boasts a 0.57 ERA and 39 strikeouts.

— by Molly Irene Olmstead

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