Softball: Northwestern faces Iowa, looking to improve conference record

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

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Coming off a decisive victory over in-state rival Illinois-Chicago, No. 24 Northwestern hopes to repeat the intensity and carry the momentum into a three-game series against Big Ten foe Iowa this weekend. 

The Cats travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to face the Hawkeyes on their soil. The Iowa matchups mark the third series for NU in the Big Ten portion of their schedule. 

So far, the Cats have faced Wisconsin and Nebraska at home, finishing with a 3-3 record against the two teams. NU had an impressive preseason, participating in tournaments across the country and matching up well against tough competition with a 20-8 overall record.

Iowa has faced Wisconsin and Illinois so far this Big Ten season, coming out with a 4-2 record in conference. The start to the conference season is impressive for the Hawkeyes, who managed only a 5-14 record in the preseason.

However, the Cats are determined to cool them off and grab crucial conference victories.

Despite their most recent Big Ten series against Nebraska not going as well as the team had hoped, they still have confidence going into future Big Ten matchups.

“We just need to focus on what we do well,” senior Emily Allard said. “We don’t need to go back to the drawing board. We just need to refocus and get back to work.”

The Cats did just that when competing against UIC and are looking to treat every game the same no matter the opponent.

“We approached this game like we approach every game,” sophomore Brianna LeBeau said. “We knew they were going to come out strong because they were trying to beat us, and I think that we prepared the same way and we came out saying we’re just going beat that team in the other dugout.”

Coach Kate Drohan agreed the Cats are ready for the upcoming Big Ten games and that they are getting into the pattern of the regular season.

One of the Cats’ strongest assets so far this season has been their offense. The Cats have had some incredibly explosive offensive games and innings but need to work on consistency. However, the Cats have confidence in their ability to put runs on the board.

“Anyone can do anything, anytime,” junior Andrea DiPrima said. “It’s always different people with the big hit. It’s fun when you know that if the top doesn’t get it done, the bottom will. It’s a big strength.”

Email: rebeccafriedman2017@u.northwestern.edu

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