Jan. 13, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa softball team held its first official practice of the 2014 season indoors today at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on campus. The Hawkeyes arrived excited and prepared for their first workout of the new year together.
The morning practice opened with a pitcher and catcher workout at 8 a.m. Position players began their segment at 8:30 a.m. with a warm-up followed by specific position training. Following a team lunch and short break, the Hawkeyes resumed practice at 1 p.m. with a team hitting session and concluded day one with weights at 3 p.m.
Fourth-year head coach Marla Looper was pleased with the effort, excitement, and motivation her Hawkeye squad maintained throughout the day.
"I'm excited," Looper said. "I couldn't really sleep last night knowing we were going to hit the turf today. I'm eager to see how the ladies come back."
The Hawkeyes echoed Looper's excitement and were ready to return to practice as a unit after being separated from one another over break.
"We were pumped to get back," junior shortstop Megan Blank said. "A lot of the girls got back yesterday, so a lot of us saw each other for the first time this morning. It's amazing being back with these girls. We have a great team. Hopefully with this extra week of practice we're putting in, things will pay off and we'll take off running when the season starts. We're looking for good things."\
"We're all really excited," redshirt sophomore catcher Holly Hoffman said. "We put in a lot of hard work in the fall, and I know everyone worked hard over break. I'm excited to get on the road and get playing."
The Hawkeyes are determined to build upon past successes and improve even more in 2014. Iowa has set goals of winning the Big Ten championship, securing a berth to regionals, and make a postseason run.
"This team has the want and the will to do something that hasn't been done in a while at Iowa," Looper said. "Postseason is definitely in their sights, but we have to take business right here, right now, to get there. That starts in the first three weeks of training and when we step on the field that's where we can start looking towards the end result."
Over the next few weeks leading up to the 2014 regular season opening tournament at the South Carolina Classic, Feb. 7-9, the Hawkeyes will focus on all areas of the game and work together to create chemistry as a squad on the field.
"They've had six weeks away from us coaches and away from their teammates," Looper said. "We have to not just work on the fundamentals, but work on our team chemistry and get that bound before we hit the field in South Carolina."