Iowa softball coach Gayle Blevins feels good about the Hawkeyes’ chances of getting into the NCAA regionals but they could end the speculation this weekend by winning the Big Ten tournament which will be hosted by Northwestern. Iowa is 39-19 overall and takes the third seed into Friday’s opening round against Indiana.

Belvins says she’ll feel a lot better if they win the first game of the tournament. This is the second year the tournament has expanded from six to eight teams and it is now a single elimination format. Blevins says you have to be ready to play in the first game, or you could very quickly be going home. Blevins says the new format makes the tournament wide open and it gives two more teams a chance to make the tournament.