May 4, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team dropped a pair of games to Illinois Wednesday at Pearl Field. The Fighting Illini claimed the opener, 8-2, before limiting the Hawkeyes a pair of hits in a 6-2 win in the night cap.
“Illinois played like we want to play,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “They were aggressive and made things happen. They found some short gaps, short hops, slow hops… they did a good job of putting the ball in play.”
Illinois jumped on Iowa early, building a 6-0 lead over the first four innings. Jessica Davis delivered a two-run single in the first inning, Danielle Zymkowitz had an RBI double in the second, and Hollie Pinchback had a two-run single in the Fighting Illini’s three-run third.
Iowa cut into the lead, plating single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Sophomore Johnnie Dowling connected on a solo home run with two outs in the fourth to get the Hawkeyes on the board. In the fifth, Michelle Zoeller reached with a one out single up the middle before coming around to score on Ashley Akers RBI double to centerfield.
The Fighting Illini then added two insurance runs in their final at-bat. After pinch hitter Vivi Castellanos reached via a single, Zymkowitz placed a ball perfectly down the left field line. The ball rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Zymkowitz to round the bases for an inside the park home run to give Illinois the 8-2 lead.
Freshman Kayla Massey took the loss in the circle, allowing six runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. She falls to 12-11 on the year. Illinois’ Jackie Guy picked up the victory, allowing two runs on six hits in the complete game.
Zoeller paced the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Dowling’s fourth inning home run was her fifth of the year and her second in the last three games.
Iowa jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the second game of the doubleheader, plating one run in the bottom of the first inning. Akers had a one out single to start things off before three consecutive Pepper Gay walks push the sophomore around the bases to give the Hawkeyes the lead.
Iowa had the opportunity to stretch its lead, but the squad left the bases loaded when Zoeller struck out looking to end the frame.
Iowa’s lead was short lived as Illinois plated four runs in the top of the second inning to take the 4-1 lead. Zymkowitz delivered the big hit, as her single to centerfield plated a pair of Fighting Illini runs.
Iowa cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third inning on Katie Keim’s solo home run to left field. The long ball was Keim’s fourth of the season. Illinois, however, answered again, plating its final two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Davis drove in both runs with an RBI double off the centerfield wall.
Lyon suffered the loss in the game, allowing six runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings of work. Gay won her 17th game for Illinois, allowing two runs on two hits in the complete game. The sophomore won despite walking seven Hawkeye batters.
Iowa (26-23, 8-10) close out the regular season this weekend against Penn State. The opening game of the series is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday night.
|Illinois 8, Iowa 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Illinois (23-20, 10-7)||2||1||0||3||0||0||2||8||12||0|
|Iowa (26-22, 8-9)||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||2||6||0|
|W: Jackie Guy (ILL) 7-6|
|L: Kayla Massey (UI) 12-11|
|Illinois 6, Iowa 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Illinois (24-20, 11-7)||0||4||0||2||0||0||0||6||9||0|
|Iowa (26-23, 8-10)||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||2||1|
|W: Pepper Gay (ILL) 17-13|
|L: Chelsea Lyon (UI) 14-12|