The Daily Iowan

Softball announces fall schedule

The+Iowa+softball+team+warms+up+before+Iowa%C3%95s+Big+Ten+tournament+game+against+Ohio+State+at+the+Goodman+Softball+complex+in+Madison%2C+WI.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Buckeyes+5-1.+%28Nick+Rohlman%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
The Iowa softball team warms up before IowaÕs Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State at the Goodman Softball complex in Madison, WI. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 5-1. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

The Iowa softball team warms up before IowaÕs Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State at the Goodman Softball complex in Madison, WI. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 5-1. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

The Iowa softball team warms up before IowaÕs Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State at the Goodman Softball complex in Madison, WI. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes 5-1. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

James Geerdes, [email protected]

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Hawkeye fans will see a very different softball team when Iowa steps on the field for its fall slate of games. After a summer of mixing up coaches and bringing in new recruits, the Hawkeyes will have plenty of new tricks up their sleeves.

New head coach Renee Gillispie’s team will be tested early ​— all of the Iowa foes excelled at their level of softball or have recently beaten Iowa.

Gillispie will take on a familiar opponent to begin her Hawkeye career. The Kirkwood Community College alum will see her alma mater on Sept. 14 in her first game for Iowa. During her time in an Eagle uniform, Gillispie pitched in two Juco National Championship Tournaments.

Iowa fans get their glimpses of another Kirkwood alum on the field in its fall season opener. DoniRae Mayhew will make her Hawkeye d​ébut alongside her new coach following a stellar career with the Eagles. In her 2018 season, Mayhew batted .446 with 79 hits — 18 of which were doubles and 30 were home runs.

Kirkwood has been a powerhouse Juco Division II team in recent years and returns a strong offensive lineup.

Iowa’s second contest of the fall will be against DMACC, another powerhouse among Division II athletics. The Bears are coming off their most successful season in school history with a third-place finish in the Juco Championship. DMACC concluded its season with a staggering 48-2 record.

Last season, Iowa won its fall contest with the Bears by a score of 6-1.

Iowa then will compete in the Big Four Classic, with games against in-state rivals Northern Iowa, Drake, and Iowa State on Sept 29-30.

Gillispie will open her first tournament as a Hawkeye against Northern Iowa. Last season, the Panthers shut out the Hawkeyes, 3-0. UNI went on to have a 26-26 record in the spring season.

Next, Gillispie and her team will take on Drake. Last fall, Iowa scraped by in a 6-5 win over the Bulldogs.

The Hawkeyes will cap their Big Four tournament with a game against Iowa State. The Cyclones struggled last season with a 23-33 record but tied the Hawkeyes in their preseason meeting, 3-3.

Following the tournament, Iowa will host Indian Hills Community College. Indian Hills excelled at the Junior College level, going 46-12.

Gillispie and the Hawkeyes will conclude their fall string of games with a doubleheader against Illinois State. The Redbirds posted a 21-33 record in the spring.

Each of Iowa’s fall contests are free.

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