Denali Loecker’s big bat moves her up on Iowa’s all-time home runs list
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - In their final outing in Iowa City, Denali Loecker made just her third start in the circle and retired the first nine batters to start the game. What the junior is really known for is her big bat.
“That’s what I was kind of known for in Ogden was power,” Loecker said. “It’s definitely been a harder transition coming into college, because the pitchers throw a lot harder. They have a lot more movement.”
After knocking out 10 home runs just a season ago which ranks fourth by a Hawkeye in a single season, Loecker has 9 this year.
“She does an incredible job of coming in and being able to spark the team,” Iowa softball head coach Renee Gillispie said.
Heading into their final regular season series, she sits tied for sixth with 23 career home runs, but she’s says she doesn’t keep track of those stats.
“I didn’t know that, but my dad definitely keeps track. He’ll be texting me, but I don’t really keep track of that,” Loecker said. “I didn’t know that stat, but it’s cool. I don’t really think about it because if I think about it, that’s when I start thinking too much and trying too hard,” she added.
Loecker hit two homers during last weekend’s series against Rutgers. Prior to that, her last long ball came on March 12th.
“I kind of went down in a slump for a little bit, so it’s nice to get that back under my belt, just because I know I can. It’s just the fact that I didn’t get it for a while, so just to get back on that grind of hitting the ball hard and putting it into play, helps out the team a lot,” Loecker said.
“When she’s patient at the plate and she’s forcing them to come in on her and be able to get the pitch that she wants, she very effective,” Gillispie added.
Loecker says keeping it simple at the plate is what has helped her the most. The Hawkeyes hope her offensive production continues as the postseason quickly approaches.
“She’s coming up, starting to see the ball well and we just hope to get more of that out of her,” Gillispie said.
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