Iowa senior Nia Carter leads the Big Ten in hits, ranks second in the NCAA

Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 11:15 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the best hitters in college softball wears black and gold.

Senior Nia Carter was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 as the Iowa softball team opened up their three-game homestand against Rutgers.

“I’m just having fun,” Carter said. “It’s my senior year. I love these girls and they have my back. I want to do it for them,” she added.

“We made an adjustment with Nia. She was number one in the leadoff spot and was just always getting a hit, always making something happen, usually with nobody on,” Iowa softball head Renee Gillispie said. “We felt that looking at the stats, she was so effective with that, so we moved her to the three, She’s only been in the three spot the last couple games,”

As the smallest Hawkeye listed on the roster at 5′1, she’s not your typical 3-batter, but Carter has become ‘Miss Reliable.’ After getting to second on her third hit of the game, her teammate Denali Loecker made sure Carter’s effort didn’t go to waste. Loecker made sure to bring her home.

“I know she gets on that I just need to move her around. If we can score, that’s going to help out a lot. It’s always nice because I know she’s getting on, so when she’s on, then it kind of boosts my confidence. Now, I get to score her,” Loecker explained.

“Its awesome honestly, when they have that much confidence in me. It gives {me} confidence in myself, that I know I can do it,” Carter said.

It was business as usual for Carter in game 2 against the Scarlet Knights as she went 4-for-4 at the plate.

“She’s just insane,” Loecker said. “She’s always on base. Any game, she just shows up and is always competing. She’s a great teammate and great leader,” she added.

Her 87 hits on the season put her in first in the Big Ten Conference, second in the NCAA and third in Iowa history for hits in a single season.

“I just want to leave here with a legacy. Have these little girls look up to me is a big thing, I just want to leave my mark and do what I can for Iowa,” Carter said.

She’s been a hitter since she stepped on campus. Her career batting average is .461. She also ranks eighth all-time with the Hawkeyes with 227 career hits.

“She’s always had this intensity about her. She was with the Corona Angels out of California, They’ve always had an intense type of mentality going into it. She actually came in as a slapper, started hitting as a freshman and has never stopped hitting,”Gillispie said. “She has a lot of arsenals between slapping, hitting and being able to lay down a bunt, but she’s just the kind of kid that sparks the team.”

No matter her place in Iowa’s lineup, Varter has been solid all season and played a huge role for Hawkeyes’ offense.

“I love proving to people, that it doesn’t matter how big I am that I’m capable of hitting third, first or wherever they want me,” Carter said.

The Iowa softball team hosts Northern Iowa for a nonconference game on Wednesday. The game is scheduled for 5 P.M.