Iowa scheduled to head to California


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After winning three of its last four games, the Iowa softball team (6-11) is scheduled to head to California this weekend looking to extend their hot streak.

However, that’s easier said than done — all five teams Iowa has on the schedule this weekend are several games over .500.

“I’m confident in our ability to face the competition we’re going to face,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. “Going into the year looking at the schedule, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be some really tough competition and some just above average, challenging competition.

“Now, looking at it, it’s all hard competition.”

The five-game tournament starts with a doubleheader of San Jose State (14-6) and Fresno State (14-5) on Friday, with another against San Diego State (11-7) and Cal State Fullerton (13-8) the next day.

March 8 will feature a game with No. 2 Oregon (16-2), which will be the second top-2 team the Hawkeyes have faced this season.

A tough challenge for sure, but after breaking an eight-game losing streak last season, the team is looking forward to any sort of positive momentum.

“[Last] weekend was a confidence booster for sure,” shortstop Megan Blank said. “If you’re going to try and be the best, you have to beat the best. We’re going in the right direction and it’s exciting to see what this team can do.”

California is also home to six of Iowa’s players, with Blank, sophomore Alyssa Navarro, junior Erin Erickson, freshman Allie Wood, redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman and freshman Daniela Chambers.

Looper has often recruited California, with the opportunity to get Iowa’s name out there also allows the players a chance to play near their home.

It’s also a chance to simply get out and play.

“I think we can do very well this weekend,” outfielder Cheyenne Pratt said. “It’s just bringing it every day and I think we all need to get in that mindset now and start preparing like we have been the last couple days.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa softball team.

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