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Iowa's Nia Carter Talks Hot College Start, Life In Lockdown

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(Photo by Stephen Mally via Iowa Athletics)

Now that the dust has settled a bit in the college softball world following COVID-19's cancellation of the second half of the 2020 season, SA has taken some time to catch up with current college softball student-athletes while they are quarantined at home.

Today's college softball player on display is Iowa's Nia Carter, who earned a spot in SA's Shortened Season College Top 100.

See SA's interview with Carter below.

Iowa was having quite the 2020 season (17-5) before it was abruptly canceled. What were some of your goals as a team for the rest of the season?

Nia Carter: The team had many goals for this season. Especially since this was one of our best starts in a few years, we had plans on winning the Big Ten Tournament and going to the Women's College World Series.

How did you and your teammates react to the news of the coronavirus cancellations?

NC: It was devastating when everyone found out about the cancellation of the season. We were in Florida on a bus and waiting to see if we would even be able to play our last weekend of games before conference play started. When our coach finally broke the news to us, everyone was in shock. The seniors started crying and it was just heartbreaking to think that they could have played their last collegiate games without even knowing it.

What are your predictions for what next season will be like for your team?

NC: I predict next year we will be a strong team, if not even stronger. I feel like we will pick up right where we left off.

How are you and your teammates staying positive and connected during this unprecedented time?

NC: The team has a really strong bond and we have been staying in touch very often. We also have team Zoom meetings three times each week, which really helps everyone stay connected in each other's lives and see how everyone is dealing with this time off.

What are some of the ways you're planning on staying in shape and practicing softball over the next few months?

NC: Over the course of this break, I have been working out mostly every day, whether that is going for a run or doing a workout my brother creates, I make sure to stay active. My brother plays baseball, so we go to the park often to play catch and do fielding. My cousin, Kayla, who will be a freshman at Quinnipiac, has also been a big help with practicing softball by hitting with me and working out with me.

Are there any other fun hobbies you've picked up?

NC: DIY projects. My mom helped me repaint and redecorate my entire room, which involved building my own dresser. It was supposed to take 90 minutes, but it ended up taking us five hours. It has been fun, though, and I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with my mom.

What are some things you learned in your first year of college softball? What advice would you give incoming freshmen?

NC: What I have learned is that the speed of the game is much different from travel ball. The girls at the collegiate level are bigger, stronger and faster, so playing at a quicker and more efficient pace aided in my success. Also, being able to deliver when your number is called. Being mentally prepared for those moments helped me stay in the lineup.

To incoming freshmen, I would say practice as hard as you play because that is how lineups are often made. Take those extra swings when no one is watching because it will pay off in the end. Be prepared for those moments when you will be needed most and take advantage of them.

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