April 3, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team routed Drake, 18-0, in five innings Wednesday night at Ron Buel Field behind a season-best 17 hits and a complete game victory from junior starter Kayla Massey.
The Hawkeyes (21-13) also posted season highs in runs (18), RBIs (15), home runs (three) and walks (seven). The 18 runs mark the most for Iowa since Feb. 18, 2012, when the Hawkeyes blasted Iowa State, 26-5, in five innings. Eleven players found the hit column, while four posted multi-hit games and three notched multi-RBI contests.
“It was nice for us to get started early,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We have talked about being the aggressor, and we were today. We had the bases loaded in the first inning and did not plate any, but in the second we were able to put more runners on and get them across. We continued to do that and a lot of players contributed. It is great to be able to do that.”
The Hawkeyes, 34-10 all-time against the Bulldogs, posted their largest margin of victory over their in-state foes in series history.
Senior Johnnie Dowling, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, scored a career-best four runs in the leadoff spot, finishing 2-for-5 at the plate. Tor Hawley registered her first career multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Megan Blank finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, adding two RBIs and two runs. The four hits mark a career best for the sophomore.
Massey helped herself at the plate, hitting her-team leading sixth home run of the season. She finished with three RBIs and also posted a game-high six assists in the field.
After leaving the bases loaded in a scoreless first inning, the offense caught fire, pushing across six runs in the second and fourth innings, two in the third, and four in the fifth.
Iowa sent 10 hitters to the plate in the second. The Hawkeyes put up a six-spot behind three hits and three Drake errors, the key hit coming in the form of a two-run home run off the bat of Massey. The visitors added two in the third behind an RBI double from Wall and an RBI fielder’s choice by Massey, extending the lead to 8-0.
Thirteen Hawkeye hitters came to the plate in the fourth as Iowa plated six more runs on six hits, making the score 14-0. Repole, who entered as a pinch hitter, launched her first career home run to center to plate three.
In the fifth, Iowa used three-straight one-out singles to load the bases. Grove entered as a pinch hitter, and in her first at-bat of the year, promptly launched her first career grand slam to left center to extend the lead to 18-0.
Massey tossed her second perfect inning of the game in the fifth to close out the victory. She allowed four hits in five shutout innings to move to 11-7. Massey struck out three Bulldogs and surrendered no walks. She has tossed 16 complete games in 18 starts this season.
“Kayla had a nice game in the circle,” said Looper. “She had no walks, which helps us defensively, and it was nice to get the shutout.”
Jordan Gronewold took the loss for Drake (19-13) to fall to 10-7 on the year. She allowed 12 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits in three and a third innings.
“Drake has a quality ball club and we were glad to get the win today,” said Looper. “We will take that into the weekend against Nebraska, another quality team.”
Iowa returns home to host No. 19 Nebraska this weekend in a three-game set at Pearl Field. Game one first pitch is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m.
|Iowa 18, Drake 0||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|W: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 11-7|
|L: Gronewold (DU) 10-7|