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Softball to compete at Radisson Invitational in Orlando

BY CHARLIE GREEN | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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In the midst of an eight-game losing streak, the Iowa softball team will travel to Orlando today for the Central Florida Doubletree/ Radisson Invitational.

The only ranked opponent competing in the tournament is No. 17 Central Florida, which the Hawks will battle in their second game today. The team will also play Long Island-Brooklyn, Princeton, and Florida A&M during the weekend.

“I think we’re all really hungry right now and really excited to get out and play again,” sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Mullarkey said.

The Hawks enter the weekend at just 3-10 on the season.

Among the focuses of the team for the invitational are situational hitting, attacking the ball defensively, and finishing games.

“[We’re] setting ourselves to a high standard throughout the seven innings, coming out as strong in the top of the seventh as we do in the top of the first ” junior first baseman Erin Erickson said.

Last weekend at the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational, the Hawkeyes lost three of their five games by 1 run.
On Feb. 20 against Hoftstra, they led 2-0 after the top of the fourth before the Pride rallied and won the game, 4-3. The following day, they led 3-1 before imploding in the top of the seventh, giving up 8 runs en route to a 9-3 defeat.

Iowa’s two games against Hofstra illustrate their inability to close out games. Unable to muster a win for a second weekend in a row, the Hawkeyes have been left searching for answers.

“You can’t change something that’s bad without taking a step back, looking at it, and then re-evaluating it from there,” junior outfielder Whitney Repole said. “I think that’s what we’ve been doing this week, trying to make some positive changes and going into Florida with a positive mindset.”

They’ll certainly need a good mindset, because conference play begins in less than a month, and the Hawkeyes still have quite a bit of improvement to do before they meet their Big Ten foes.

It makes sense then that the Hawkeyes consider their stretch of five-straight tournaments a preseason and using it to solidify the lineup.

With the losing streak in mind, head coach Maria Looper believes this weekend is an opportunity to turn things around.

“I think you’re going to see that attack mindset from top to bottom the whole time,” she said. “And the key is to trust our ability, trust our preparation.”


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