March 15, 2012
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FULLERTON, Calif. — The University of Iowa softball team’s seventh inning rally fell short, as the Hawkeyes dropped a 4-3 decision against No. 3 Washington on Thursday afternoon at the Judi Garman Classic.
“We’re pleased with the fight to come back and to try to plug it in the seventh inning,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Our hitters did a nice job of seeing pitches, but we got anxious, got under them and unfortunately fly balls don’t help us as much as line drives and ground balls.”
The loss drops Iowa’s record to 9-12, while Washington improves to 25-1. The Hawkeyes are now 1-6 against ranked competition this season.
Trailing 4-1 heading into its final at-bat, Iowa brought the winning run to the plate in the top of the seventh inning. Pinch hitter Michelle Zoeller reached on an error to open the frame before junior Bradi Wall was hit by a pitch to put two runners on.
After moving to second and third on a wild pitch, freshman Megan Blank had a one-out RBI single to right field to make the score 4-2. Senior Liz Watkins then narrowly missed a home run, as she hit a towering fly ball to the warning track in centerfield with the sacrifice fly making the score 4-3.
Washington summoned pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby in relief, and she got Iowa pinch hitter Tor Hawley to ground out to end the game.
The Huskies used the long ball to build a 3-0 lead through the first four innings. Inglesby hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and Kylee Lahners hit a solo home run in the fourth.
Iowa got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. After Watkins drew a two-out walk, Blank tripled down the left field line to make the score 3-1. Washington answered in the bottom half of the frame when Nikia Williams’ sacrifice fly pushed across the Huskies’ fourth run.
Sophomore Kayla Massey took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in the complete game. She had three strikeouts to two walks in the game. UW starter Bryana Walker allowed three runs on three hits to improve to 6-1 on the year. Inglesby threw one third of an inning to tally her third save.
Blank paced Iowa at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Junior Johnnie Dowling collected the team’s only other hit.
Iowa (9-12) returns to action Friday, facing Virginia beginning at 11 a.m. (CT).
|#3 Washington 4, Iowa 3||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|#3 Washington (25-1)||2||0||0||1||1||0||X||4||6||1|
|W: Bryana Walker (UW) 6-1|
|L: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 4-6|
|S: Kaitlin Inglesby (UW) 3|