March 24, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team salvaged a doubleheader split against Wisconsin on Saturday at Pearl Field. After dropping the opener, 1-0, the Hawkeyes plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally for a 4-3 victory in game two.
“It was a little frustrating that first game. It took one run, and I wish we could have gotten one and been able to continue playing,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We regrouped really well and were able to come back out, see the same pitcher and make the adjustments we needed to.”
The Badgers plated the game’s lone run in the third inning of the opening contest. Kendall Grimm led off the frame with a bunt single before Mary Massei hit a one-out RBI double off the left field wall to give UW the 1-0 advantage.
That’s all Wisconsin starter Cassandra Darrah would need. The sophomore scattered three hits in the complete game shutout with three strikeouts. The victory improved her record to 8-4 on the season.
The Badgers grabbed the early advantage in game two on Massei’s RBI single up the middle in the third inning to plate Kendra Wright. The Hawkeyes then answered in the bottom half of the frame.
Junior Johnnie Dowling reached on an error to lead off the inning before moving to second and third on consecutive sacrifice bunts by Megan Blank and Brianna Luna. Senior Liz Watkins then delivered with an RBI single down the right field line to even the tally at one.
Wisconsin regained the advantage, plating two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Grimm scored on a wild pitch before Mary Massey’s RBI single to left field plated the Badgers’ third run.
Iowa once again had an answer, plating three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. Senior Katie Keim reached on an error to lead off the frame before sophomore Malloree Grove had a one-out bunt single to put two runners on.
Pinch hitter Tor Hawley then evened things up, hitting a 1-1 pitch down the right field line for a two-run triple. The hit was the first of Hawley’s Hawkeye career. Following a bunt single by Dowling, where she advanced to second on heady base running, and an intentional walk to Blank, Watkins knocked in the go-ahead run when she was hit by Darrah.
“Tor did a nice job,” said Looper. “She battled through the at-bat and put the ball on the right side, making things happen, and we were able to get two runs out of that. She got just enough of the nasty spin on it to get her to third and get that second run in.”
Massey notched her sixth victory of the season, allowing three runs on five hits in the complete game. She had four strikeouts to three walks in the game.
Two Hawkeyes recorded multi-hit games. Dowling went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Grove went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Iowa (11-16, 1-1) hosts Wisconsin in the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m.
|Wisconsin 1, Iowa 0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Wisconsin (12-9, 1-0)||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||5||0|
|Iowa (10-16, 0-1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|W: Cassandra Darrah (UW) 8-4|
|L: Chelsea Lyon (IOWA) 5-9|
|Iowa 4, Wisconsin 3||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Wisconsin (12-10, 1-1)||0||0||1||0||0||2||0||3||5||3|
|Iowa (11-16, 1-1)||0||0||1||0||0||3||0||4||7||0|
|W: Kayla Massey (MU) 6-7|
|L: Cassandra Darrah (UW) 8-5|