Iowa Softball 2021-2022 Season

138clhawk

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Maddie and Marissa are in portal and Sophie is going to Iowa State. It's public now, so I can say something.

Sounds like neither of your choices will be the new coach. I heard from 2 different people, neither have any connection to Iowa Softball, that T Rubley will be the coach? Sounds like he was hired to be the Loan Tree head softball Coach, but then stepped down 2 weeks later, to take the Iowa job. No confirmation from any Iowa player or staff, but 2 different people told me that. So, might be something to it?
First, thanks for all the info!

Dang, that's 2 starters (right?) that are leaving and having one transfer to ISU.

Hopefully the ladies take a big step next season and we can talk about possibly getting back into the NCAA tournament.
 

HillcrestHawk

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Jan 19, 2020
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Peek will be missed next season. Hard to find a more likable girl or family. I don’t know the other two as well. Wish them all luck down the road.
Agreed, hopefully things get figured out for next year!
 
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Row55

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Feb 22, 2009
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First, thanks for all the info!

Dang, that's 2 starters (right?) that are leaving and having one transfer to ISU.

Hopefully the ladies take a big step next season and we can talk about possibly getting back into the NCAA tournament.
Hopefully we can talk about possibly getting back into the Big 10 tournament. ;)
 

LinusPF

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Assuming Trena's gone. Does seem like she was well liked.
Pitching coach position has been open a long time!

Roster has been updated - https://hawkeyesports.com/sports/softball/roster/
Peek & Maras not listed. Doster had passed up Peek probably, but does leave us a little thin there. Maras leaving hurts. Second-best hitter, speed on a team that desperately needs it. Oh well, time for everyone else to step up!
 
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MossHawk6

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Assuming Trena's gone. Does seem like she was well liked.
Pitching coach position has been open a long time!

Roster has been updated - https://hawkeyesports.com/sports/softball/roster/
Peek & Maras not listed. Doster had passed up Peek probably, but does leave us a little thin there. Maras leaving hurts. Second-best hitter, speed on a team that desperately needs it. Oh well, time for everyone else to step up!
Coach P is very well liked...
 

MossHawk6

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Losing is tough on everybody. Be interesting to see who they bring on board. A couple of pretty important hires!!
 
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LinusPF

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Coach P is very well liked...
Her bio shows her moving around a lot over the years. It was nice to have her as long as we did, I suppose. Of course the positive way to look at this is, last year was tough and the assistant coaches were part of that. Let's get the right folks in place to turn it around!
 

MossHawk6

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New assistant coach.

Three future Hawks will be playing for state championships this week. Ft. Dodge (Jalen Adams and Tory Bennett) and Winterset (Jena Young) are playing for the 5A and 4A title.
Sounds like there are 3 transfers coming in as well. But lost one more to the portal that has not been official yet.

Talked to someone on the hiring committee, and they really like Coach Levin!

This next hire might be even more important. Interested in where they go with it... Young, female, other.... I think this hire will be interesting on where they go...

Go Hawks!
 
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LinusPF

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Some recruits tearing it up in Ft. Dodge!

Jalen Adams - 9 Innings Pitched, 3H, 0 ER, 13 SO, 1 BB, Perfect Game
Tory Bennett - 4-7
Jena Young - 4-8, 2B, 2 HR
 
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UptownHawk

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Oct 23, 2002
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Levin resigned at Southern Miss to take the job it appears. Their website has an article saying he and his wife want to be closer to their kids/grandkids. Looks like a good hire.

It’s a bit odd that the pitching coach hire is taking so long.

Sad to see another transfer out, but with 26 on the roster and three coming in that’s a lot of players to split time.
 
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MossHawk6

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Anyone read or listen to some of the Iowa podcast out there that state, "All athletes at the University of Iowa can "receive" up to $5980 for academic performance per year"? The way I understand it, if an athlete, scholarship or walk-on, can get up to $5980 per year for being "on track" to graduate.

Anyone else read anything about this??
 

UptownHawk

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Oct 23, 2002
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I read somewhere that student-athletes could get paid, but the article I saw did not have any details. I am curious if the new Swarm NIL will filter any money to softball players. I hope our softball players will get NIL money. My guess is the teams in the SEC will which will create an even more unlevel playing field.
 
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HawkLife360

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Jul 21, 2022
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Levin resigned at Southern Miss to take the job it appears. Their website has an article saying he and his wife want to be closer to their kids/grandkids. Looks like a good hire.

It’s a bit odd that the pitching coach hire is taking so long.

Sad to see another transfer out, but with 26 on the roster and three coming in that’s a lot of players to split time.
I’ve been following this forum for quite some time. Informative and generally very fair perspectives. Just my two cents here. I’m not understanding the push or belief that success will come with Iowa talent. Our best player is not from Iowa and no one seems to talk about her much. We need to find players like her, wherever they may be. No one can seem to hit her home very often. That will be a big hole (and lots of hits) to plug in next season. The problem seems to be on how much focus there is on local talent around here. I get it. It’s important to keep our homegrown talent. But if they aren’t playing competitive travel ball throughout the country, they are likely not playing the very best in high school and ready for B1G pitching. High school stats don’t mean much, nor do JUCO stats from DMAAC. There are other JUCOs out there with stronger talent outside of Iowa. We need a different pipeline. Maybe we need to somehow leverage the NIL to entice the talent to come? I guess I’m wondering, what is the recruiting philosophy here? Just changing the narrative a bit.
 

UptownHawk

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Oct 23, 2002
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Hey Hawklife, Great question. Here is my perspective. I'll caveat everything below by saying I have no association of the program so my view is just as a longtime fan of softball.

My understanding is Coach Blevins had a pipeline from California and then made it a priority to keep the best talent in Iowa combined with picking up players from other states/regions as needed. Her teams were always very competitive. Under Coach Looper she did not prioritize keeping the top Iowa talent. Amber Fiser from Benton went to Minnesota and pitched in the GSWS but was not recruited by Iowa, we missed on Paige Lowery from Dallas Center Grimes who went to Missouri, Kendyl Lindeman from Ankeny who went to Minnesota and later to Florida. (I think we recruited Lowry, but got in on Lindeman very late). A parent mentioned to us once that Looper did not prioritize Iowa because Iowa girls did not play year round and she wanted to focus on Texas talent (she came from UT-Austin). I have no idea if that is true or not. When Coach Gillespie was hired she made it a priority to focus on Iowa talent. I think a lot of the discussion here have stemmed from comments Coach G has made about focusing on keeping the best Iowa talent which I viewed as a way to start rebuilding relationships with high school coaches who were put off by Looper's philosophy.

In softball there is only 11.7 (I think this is correct, might be off slightly) scholarships. I remember Blevins saying once that Iowa girls were important because she may be able to get Iowa kids who did not have to pay out of state rates and may be willing to forgo scholarship money to play for the Hawks. I think she viewed some of the role players needed may be more willing to come to Iowa for those reasons.

To your point talent is talent and we don't care where it comes from. My opinion is we have to keep the elite talent in the state and leverage California girls and anywhere else we can find B1G caliber talent.

Btw, I am not trying to knock on Looper (Blevins missed on Chelsea Thomas from Pleasantville who pitched at Missouri, so she had misses as well). Everyone I know who has interacted with her says she is a great person.

Just my thoughts....curious what everyone else thinks.

Go Hawks.
 

beahawk

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Oct 12, 2001
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Hey Hawklife, Great question. Here is my perspective. I'll caveat everything below by saying I have no association of the program so my view is just as a longtime fan of softball.

My understanding is Coach Blevins had a pipeline from California and then made it a priority to keep the best talent in Iowa combined with picking up players from other states/regions as needed. Her teams were always very competitive. Under Coach Looper she did not prioritize keeping the top Iowa talent. Amber Fiser from Benton went to Minnesota and pitched in the GSWS but was not recruited by Iowa, we missed on Paige Lowery from Dallas Center Grimes who went to Missouri, Kendyl Lindeman from Ankeny who went to Minnesota and later to Florida. (I think we recruited Lowry, but got in on Lindeman very late). A parent mentioned to us once that Looper did not prioritize Iowa because Iowa girls did not play year round and she wanted to focus on Texas talent (she came from UT-Austin). I have no idea if that is true or not. When Coach Gillespie was hired she made it a priority to focus on Iowa talent. I think a lot of the discussion here have stemmed from comments Coach G has made about focusing on keeping the best Iowa talent which I viewed as a way to start rebuilding relationships with high school coaches who were put off by Looper's philosophy.

In softball there is only 11.7 (I think this is correct, might be off slightly) scholarships. I remember Blevins saying once that Iowa girls were important because she may be able to get Iowa kids who did not have to pay out of state rates and may be willing to forgo scholarship money to play for the Hawks. I think she viewed some of the role players needed may be more willing to come to Iowa for those reasons.

To your point talent is talent and we don't care where it comes from. My opinion is we have to keep the elite talent in the state and leverage California girls and anywhere else we can find B1G caliber talent.

Btw, I am not trying to knock on Looper (Blevins missed on Chelsea Thomas from Pleasantville who pitched at Missouri, so she had misses as well). Everyone I know who has interacted with her says she is a great person.

Just my thoughts....curious what everyone else thinks.

Go Hawks.
Mia Ruther was all American at DMACC - starting SS at Iowa and hit over 300. Avery Guy DMACC All American - Started Part time as a Jr. - Sophie Maras DMACC National JC player of year and hit 300 at Iowa. Will have 2 more years left at Iowa State- and when she left Iowa had AAC, and Big 12 options.

Molly Jacobson DMACC LHP - National Pitcher Of the Year - all SEC AT Ole Miss- and Covid Year-beat Oregon 1-0 on ESPN. All Iowa High school players. When she left DMACC she had AAC Sec Big 12 and PAC 12 options.

Minnesota, Northwestern Wisconsin Illinois and Michigan all have had or currently have Iowa players that regularly beat the u of Iowa in softball.
The complete destruction of Iowa softball during the looper years is well documented - the root causes started when they lost their home base.

As for DMACC PLAYERS and related stats - I believe their program has sent over 30 players to the D1 level in big 12 big 10 valley and SEc. They currently have a soph- niece of Dallas Clark who is an all American and being recruited by top national programs.

The Iowa program problems were deep seeded- and your coach has worked incredibly hard — it will continue to be an incredibly tough road.

sorry for length.
 

HawkLife360

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Jul 21, 2022
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Mia Ruther was all American at DMACC - starting SS at Iowa and hit over 300. Avery Guy DMACC All American - Started Part time as a Jr. - Sophie Maras DMACC National JC player of year and hit 300 at Iowa. Will have 2 more years left at Iowa State- and when she left Iowa had AAC, and Big 12 options.

Molly Jacobson DMACC LHP - National Pitcher Of the Year - all SEC AT Ole Miss- and Covid Year-beat Oregon 1-0 on ESPN. All Iowa High school players. When she left DMACC she had AAC Sec Big 12 and PAC 12 options.

Minnesota, Northwestern Wisconsin Illinois and Michigan all have had or currently have Iowa players that regularly beat the u of Iowa in softball.
The complete destruction of Iowa softball during the looper years is well documented - the root causes started when they lost their home base.

As for DMACC PLAYERS and related stats - I believe their program has sent over 30 players to the D1 level in big 12 big 10 valley and SEc. They currently have a soph- niece of Dallas Clark who is an all American and being recruited by top national programs.

The Iowa program problems were deep seeded- and your coach has worked incredibly hard — it will continue to be an incredibly tough road.

sorry for length.
This is all great info and historical perspective. Thank you! I’m talking about game changers but you are absolutely right. We need those game changers to stay home. I saw that someone brought up the NIL. Don’t understand it all but if we are going to compete and get recruits, going to have to figure out how to make the NIL work for recruits to come.

All coaches have misses. Quite frankly, I find that a lot of kids with talent simply want to get outside this state because they want to win. Hoping we find that winning formula here soon. Iowa is a great environment where winning programs can be contagious. It could be a while before it comes to fruition but I’m all here for it.
 

beahawk

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Oct 12, 2001
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This is all great info and historical perspective. Thank you! I’m talking about game changers but you are absolutely right. We need those game changers to stay home. I saw that someone brought up the NIL. Don’t understand it all but if we are going to compete and get recruits, going to have to figure out how to make the NIL work for recruits to come.

All coaches have misses. Quite frankly, I find that a lot of kids with talent simply want to get outside this state because they want to win. Hoping we find that winning formula here soon. Iowa is a great environment where winning programs can be contagious. It could be a while before it comes to fruition but I’m all here for it.
Iowa’s softball damage for the most part was self inflicted. Imagine this— when Hayden fry took over and he would have abandoned all in state fb recruiting for 3-4 years, or if Ferentz when he took over would have stopped recruiting hard Iowa football players—- what would have happened to Iowa football?

Would it have been allowed to go on that long?

Minnesota went to the college World Series with an Iowa high school alum leading them on the mound. There have been big ten batting champions from eastern Iowa high schools who played at Big Ten schools! All big ten pitchers from our state led big ten teams to th ncaa.

Northwestern went to ncaa this year with an Urbandale player as one of their top table setters… this list is endless. The Illinois pitcher starred at Indianola!

it is not the problem with Iowa high school softball talent—- an Iowa staff unilaterally disarmed a storied program - and nothing was done to stop it.

- the rebuild is not going to be easy- Iowa fans need to support it in all possible ways.
 

138clhawk

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This is all great info and historical perspective. Thank you! I’m talking about game changers but you are absolutely right. We need those game changers to stay home. I saw that someone brought up the NIL. Don’t understand it all but if we are going to compete and get recruits, going to have to figure out how to make the NIL work for recruits to come.

All coaches have misses. Quite frankly, I find that a lot of kids with talent simply want to get outside this state because they want to win. Hoping we find that winning formula here soon. Iowa is a great environment where winning programs can be contagious. It could be a while before it comes to fruition but I’m all here for it.
As it was kind of already mentioned, but there are some very good players from Iowa. Kind of funny, but I think most people were hoping that Gillispie would be bring in MORE Iowa talent when she was hired instead of the top players going outside of the state or to Iowa State. Whereas Looper tried to pull some out of state connections to take Iowa to the next level, obliviously that didn't work for her.
As for game changers, who knows where that talent will come from, but I think you have to keep trying to get the top players in state, use some some connections outside of Iowa and get a few recruits. I think you have to look at Iowa, in about every sport, they aren't going to get a 'game changer,' or at least it's very unlikely for the softball program and where it's at right now. I hope they get some 'studs' from Iowa and some pretty good recruits from out of state. Hopefully they get things turned around and back to a winning record next year.
 

UptownHawk

Team MVP
Oct 23, 2002
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Jena young and Winterset win the 4A title. Ft. Dodge is runner-up in 5A.

It appears we have another Winterset recruit Bridget Stover. She posted on her twitter she will be joining the team in the fall. Appears to be a catcher. We lost Peek as a catcher. I assume Doster will be the main catcher next season. Hoping this means she is not the transfer out.

We have 26 on the roster now and MossHawk mentioned we have three transfers coming in and one transferring out. That puts us at 29 next year assuming no one else leaves (or there is no more surprise recruits).

Go Hawks.
 
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MossHawk6

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Jena young and Winterset win the 4A title. Ft. Dodge is runner-up in 5A.

It appears we have another Winterset recruit Bridget Stover. She posted on her twitter she will be joining the team in the fall. Appears to be a catcher. We lost Peek as a catcher. I assume Doster will be the main catcher next season. Hoping this means she is not the transfer out.

We have 26 on the roster now and MossHawk mentioned we have three transfers coming in and one transferring out. That puts us at 29 next year assuming no one else leaves (or there is no more surprise recruits).

Go Hawks.
Doster will be here in the Fall. Moving in tomorrow actually 😂. So we are good there. I'm assuming the Winterset catcher is just added depth.
 

BigDogHawkFan

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In 1993 I started going to softball coaching clinics at the University of Iowa. I attended those clinics for many years. One story I heard was that when Blevins was first hired, she was told to win. My memory isn’t great but I believe she recruited a pitcher from California. I believe her name was Jackson. Then there might have been a pitcher from Texas and one from Utah. I don’t remember their names. Iowa softball was very good. Then the administration told Blevins they wanted her to win but also to recruit a few Iowa girls. Iowa was still really good with Birochi pitching. Then the expectation came that Iowa recruit more Iowa girls. That’s when the team started to struggle.
At one point, the Pride of Iowa Conference had Thomas from Pleasantville who ended up at Missouri. Cassandra Dahr from Wayne who ended up at Wisconsin and there was a girl from Central Decatur, I think her last name was Smith. She pitched some games for Iowa State. Thomas was a great high school pitcher but not as dominating as Kelly Shade. Thomas improved because of a tremendous work ethic. The same could be said of Dahr.
Did Rick Dillinger leave the Iowa staff? I heard he took a position somewhere else. Anyone have an idea where?
 

MossHawk6

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Here are the transfers I was talking about... And a late HS addition... Looks like a pitcher from Baylor, OF from Alabama Tech, and a De-Commit from Tennessee Tech

 
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