Badgers Top Iowa in Rubber Match


March 30, 2013

Box Score

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game set at Pearl Field.

“We are trying to make things too complicated,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We are our biggest limiting factor right now. Credit Wisconsin; they are a good club and Cassandra (Darrah) is a good pitcher, but the mistakes we made were dictated by us and nobody else.

“They still may have come out winners, but we gave them at least one or two runs they should not have had. Offensively, we did not allow ourselves to put runs on the board. We had runners on, but could not get them across.”

The Badgers, winners of 15 of their last 16 overall, used a two-out rally to score their first run in the top of the third. Wisconsin used a single and a double that rolled all the way to the wall in right center to grab a 1-0 lead.

Michelle Zoeller and Brianna Luna opened the bottom half with back-to-back singles for Iowa. Ashley Akers dropped down a successful sacrifice bunt to move the runners up a base. Wisconsin starter Cassandra Darrah coaxed two-straight Hawkeye strikeouts to end the scoring threat.

Wisconsin (27-4, 5-1) pushed its advantage to 2-0 in the fifth on a Hawkeye error. Sammi Gyerman opened the bottom half with a lead-off walk. The freshman stole second and advanced to third as the ball got away, but was ultimately stranded.

In the sixth, Iowa loaded the bases with singles by Bradi Wall and Megan Blank, and Holly Hoffman was hit by a pitch. Darrah coaxed a groundball out to work out of another jam.

The Badgers pushed across an unearned run in the seventh to extend their lead to 3-0.

With one down in the final at-bat, Luna doubled to left center and Akers singled to put two on. Darrah ended the threat again, getting the final two Hawkeye hitters to ground out.

After having her seven-game winning streak snapped by Iowa on Friday, Darrah earned the win to move to 16-2 on the year. She tossed seven complete innings, allowing no runs on six hits.

Hawkeye starter Kayla Massey took the tough-luck loss, allowing one earned run on eight hits in seven complete innings.

Luna paced the Iowa offense with her fourth multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3. The home team left eight runners on base, including six in the final three frames.

The Hawkeyes won the opening game of the series on Friday in the first game of a doubleheader, 2-1, on a walk-off home run by Zoeller in the bottom of the ninth inning, ending the Badgers’ 13-game winning streak. Wisconsin won the second game of the doubleheader, 8-0, in five innings.

Iowa (20-13, 1-5) continues action with its first in-state game on Wednesday, April 3. The Hawkeyes will travel to Drake at 4 p.m. Iowa returns home to host No. 19 Nebraska, April 5-7, in a three-game set at Pearl Field.

Wisconsin 3, Iowa 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Wisconsin (27-4, 5-1) 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 8 1
Iowa (20-13, 1-5) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
Game Decision
W: Darrah (WIS) 16-2
L: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 10-7