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Iowa heads to Rajun' Cajun Invitational

BY JORDAN HANSEN | FEBRUARY 20, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa softball team is again headed to a tournament in the South, this time to the campus of Louisiana-Lafayette for the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational.

In addition to the Hawkeyes (3-5), the teams in the tournament are the host No. 6 Rajun’ Cajuns (9-0), Hofstra (2-3), and Missouri State (6-4).

Last weekend, Iowa head coach Marla Looper’s squad dropped three games in a tough Florida Tournament that included the defending NCAA champion Gators. It was a rough weekend for the team, but the Hawkeyes believe this weekend might be a good way to respond.

“We gotta just keep plugging away,” Looper said. “If we want to sit, and droop our lips, and pout, and lick our wounds, we’re not going to have any success. But if we take those things and use them to get better in practice, then we should.”

Her players also seem keen to get the bad taste out of their mouths and use the weekend as a learning experience.

“I think it was a good test to see where we’re at,” starting pitcher Shayla Starkenburg said. “Coming out of the weekend, I know I need to work on my pitch locations and my accuracy.

“It’s a great experience for us to play all these good teams.”

And good they are. Hofstra and Louisiana-Lafayette are coming off NCAA Tournament berths and Missouri State also posted a solid season last year.

When the Hawkeyes begin play at noon today, they know they’ll be in for a tough fight, but they also view it as another chance to show some progress. 

“You know, Hofstra’s a good club, Louisiana-Lafayette is ranked, and Missouri State is usually at the top of the Missouri Valley as well,” Looper said. “It’s not going to be an easy weekend at all; it’s going to be similar to what we just faced, but there are five games instead of three.

“I think that is where our opportunity is at — we can look at last weekend and try to fix some things we noticed from the weekend before.”


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