Sept. 20, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa softball team continues fall action this weekend in the Big Four Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Iowa will play all three in-state rivals -- Iowa State, Drake and Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes face the Cyclones at 2 p.m. and the Bulldogs at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Iowa concludes play against the Panthers on Sunday at noon.
"The Big Four Classic rotates around the state with UNI, Iowa State and Drake," said UI head coach Marla Looper. "It is nice because it is the only Division I competition we face in the fall. It is your sisters and brothers in the state. You always like to beat them, in the fall or the spring."
No matter the time of year, the competition level will be high.
"We know each of those games, everyone will bring their best," said Looper. "Whether it is the fall or the spring, they are going to bring their best. We have to bring our "A" game."
In addition to solid competition, this weekend provides the Hawkeyes another good experience prior to the spring.
"It gives us a chance to travel a little bit," said Looper. "It is right up the road, but it is different to play on the road than at home. It is easier to play at home with your own crowd, dugout and space.
"When you have to get on a bus and go somewhere, sometimes it changes your routine. We have to practice that now because we are on the road a lot in the spring. It is nice to get those three games in."
Iowa split games with Iowa State and Northern Iowa last spring and lost a home contest to Drake.
Following the Big Four Classic, the Hawkeyes will host five contests at Pearl Field. Iowa faces Muscatine Community College (Friday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.), Iowa Central Community College (Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.) and Kirkwood Community College (Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m.) before closing its fall slate with a doubleheader against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 13 (1 p.m. and 3 p.m).