Hawkeye softball fails to make NCAA cut

BY BEN ROSS | MAY 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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After an up and down season and a 30-24 overall record, the Iowa softball team has failed to make it to the NCAA championships in the selection show Sunday evening.

Iowa, which boasted a 19-9 record before commencing conference play, saw some national recognition in the beginning of its season. The Hawkeyes defeated then No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 9 and held its own in two bouts with then No.1 Alabama on Feb. 22 and 23. Iowa then defeated ranked squads Louisville and Kentucky in late March to stick one last feather in the metaphorical cap.

Then came the Big Ten season.

Iowa stumbled out of the gate to begin conference play, losing five of its first six contests. The team hit its low note of the season, losing six games in a row over the course of April 14-23. The Hawkeyes finished the season with 8-15 mark in conference, capped off by an early exit of the Big Ten Tournament — an 8-4 loss to Ohio State on May 9.

Iowa’s pitching fell apart as starting ace Kayla Massey slumped to a 17-13 record and a 3.09 ERA, and the offense struggled all year long — to the point where All-Big Ten selection shortstop Megan Blank’s blistering .437 batting average and 11 home runs couldn’t salvage the season.

The Hawkeyes did have a slim chance to make it to the 64-team field, though. Iowa boasted the 33rd best RPI  in the country, which takes into account schedule strength and wins against quality opponents. Iowa went 6-9 against ranked teams all year.

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