Jan. 2, 2013
In our countdown to the start of the 2013 softball season, we will feature all 24 Hawkeyes over the next month. Ashley Akers is a senior from Tiffin, Iowa. The former Clear Creek Amana High School standout has played in 143 career games and made 101 career starts in the Hawkeye outfield. Akers, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has scored 52 runs and swiped 27 bases in her first three seasons in Iowa City.
Iowa opens the season Feb. 8 in Houston, Texas. The Hawkeyes face Lipscomb and UT Arlington at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.
What was the key factor in your recruitment that led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye softball program?
"I always knew that I was going to be a Hawkeye. I grew up `right down the street' from campus, so I have always been an avid Hawkeye. I remember going to softball games as a little girl with my team or my Girl Scout troop and knowing then that I had to play on that field. In fact, I still have balls that I caught in the stands."
Favorite kind of candy?
"Right now, I'm hooked on Kit Kats and Sour Patch Kids, but I will always be a sucker for Snickers and Reese's."
What is the team goal for 2013?
"Big Ten champs! We came up just short of that last year and we know that it is something we can achieve if we are willing to put the time and effort in. Achieving that would guarantee us a spot in regionals, which is also very important."
Is there any significance to the jersey number you wear?
"I was pretty much just assigned a jersey when I got here and a set of gear with No. 6. But I was happy because, six has always been my favorite number. I was born on the sixth and for some reason I really enjoyed my sixth birthday!"
Who is the most influential person in your life?
"The most influential person in my life is definitely my mom. She is one of the strongest, caring, loving, hardworking people I know. She has amazing character and has always tried to teach my brothers and myself all of those qualities. Being a single mom, she has had to do so much with three kids and she has done a better job than anyone I know could!"
Favorite professional athlete?
"Derek Fisher (recently retired). I love the LA Lakers and he was such a big part of that organization. He is such a good role model. The way he handles himself on and off the court is very respectable and more people should be that way."
Favorite place to be on campus?
"Molly's Cupcakes. Besides all the amazing cupcakes, I think it is such a cute place."
Most prized possession?
"My cell phone and my `blankey.'"
First softball memory?
"I don't have one specific memory that I can remember being first. I remember the little league championship and how important it was to win and getting a free pop or popsicle after every game. I also remember being in a softball tournament in Williamsburg; my teammates and I were so anxious to be done -- that way we could go to the water park."
Favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?
"This is tough because Iowa City has so many good places to eat, but I love the Wig and Pen."
Most memorable softball memory?
"Going undefeated and ending with a state championship my senior year of high school. 45-0!"
What is one word that describes you?