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SouthtownStar Athletes on Campus: Providence grad Dan Potempa finds hitting groove at Iowa

Dan PotempIow| Phocourtesy hawkeyesports.com

Dan Potempa, of Iowa | Photo courtesy of hawkeyesports.com

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Updated: May 28, 2014 6:39AM



In the viewpoint of Iowa designated hitter Dan Potempa, there aren’t any hidden factors as to why he’s been so successful at the plate this season.

“I just stay loose, stay confident and stick with what the coaches say to stick with as far as my at-bat routine,” the Tinley Park resident said. “If you do that, good things will happen. It’s all about sticking to my at-bat routine and staying confident in the (batter’s) box.

“Before I get into the box, I make sure I stick my right foot in the box first, take a deep breath and then let my at-bat routine go to work.”

Thus far this season, everything Potempa has done has seemed to work very well.

As a result of his success in a three-game series against conference rival Nebraska, the 2011 Providence graduate was named the Big Ten’s Co-Player of the Week for the period ending March 24.

Potempa batted .727 (8-for-11) against the visiting Cornhuskers. In a 2-1 win March 21, he was 2-for-3. One day later, Potempa went 3-for-4 in a 5-1 Hawkeyes loss. In the series finale March 23, Potempa was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run in Iowa’s 8-4 win.

“(Being the Big Ten’s Co-Player of the Week) is a really good experience to have something like that happen,” Potempa said. “I was seeing the ball well. I was relaxed in the box and I was seeing everything pitch by pitch.

“This is really a great honor. I wanted to do well this year and this was one of my goals. I’m glad to reach my goal and I’m happy it happened.”

Through 37 games, Potempa, who’s in his first season with the Hawkeyes after transferring from Iowa Central Community College, was pacing Iowa (22-15, 7-8)in batting average (.350) and RBI (26). He also had two home runs, eight doubles and 10 runs.

“My goals the rest of the season are to help us win the Big Ten, get into the NCAA Tournament and compete for the College World Series,” Potempa said.

Recognizing Rikki

Northern Iowa junior third baseman Rikki Alcaraz (Marist) was named the College Sports Madness Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for the period ending April 7.

The Orland Park resident helped the Panthers to a win over Iowa State as well as a three-game series sweep on the road over MVC foe Indiana State by batting .400 (6-for-15) with six RBI and two runs.

Alcaraz’s week was highlighted by her performance April 2 during Northern Iowa’s 9-0 victory over Iowa State when she went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

On the season, Alcaraz — who also was the MVC’s Newcomer of the Week for the period ending Feb. 17 —was leading UNI in doubles (13) and RBI (28) and was tied for first in triples (2). She was second in batting average (.336) and hits (40) and tied for second in home runs (6).



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