April 25, 2013
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team defeated Northern Iowa, 10-1, in five innings on Thursday night at Robinson-Dresser Field in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Hawkeyes out-hit the Panthers, 15-4, and used a complete game effort from Kayla Massey in the circle. The visitors committed zero errors.
Iowa improves to 25-21 overall and ends the Panthers’ seven-game winning streak; Northern Iowa falls to 21-22.
“It was nice to come away with the victory,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We put them away and did not let the game linger through seven innings. We left a lot of runners on early, and then finally had some timely hits. Then we kept going; it is contagious. It was nice to see that.”
Iowa jumped on the board first, as Massey led-off the second and launched a home run deep over the fence in right center to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 4-0 with a three-spot in the fourth. Iowa scored all three runs with two outs, using RBI singles by Bradi Wall, Megan Blank and Michelle Zoeller. Brianna Luna and Johnnie Dowling singled to start the rally.
UNI plated its only run of the game on an RBI double in the fourth, cutting the lead to 4-1.
The visitors answered in a big way in the next frame, plating six runs on five hits as Iowa sent 11 batters to the plate. Holly Hoffman opened the frame with a walk before Sammi Gyerman doubled to right center to put runners at second and third. The Hawkeyes used RBI singles from Luna, Ashley Akers and Zoeller, and a sacrifice fly by Blank, to blow the game open at 9-1. Iowa then executed a perfect steal with Zoeller at third and Haley Hansel at first. Hansel took off for second and Zoeller stole home to move the visitors into double digits at 10-1.
Massey tossed her fourth scoreless inning in the bottom half of the fifth to close out the complete game victory. The junior earned the win to move to 14-11, allowing one run on four hits.
“She did a nice job getting ahead of hitters,” said Looper. “Our defense played solid behind her as well.”
Abbie VanVleet took the loss for the home team. She allowed four earned runs on 10 hits in three and two-thirds. Mackenzie Flaws and Ellie Doughty also saw action in relief.
Nine Hawkeyes found the hit column and five finished with multi-hit games. Dowling went 2-for-3 with two runs, recording her team-leading 19th multi-hit contest of the year, while Wall finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Zoeller tallied a game-best three hits (3-for-4) and a game-high three RBIs. The three hits equaled a career high. Massey finished 2-for-4 and Luna went 2-for-2. Both recorded a run and an RBI.
Blank, last week’s Big Ten Player of the Week, has reached base in 32-straight games, including all 17 of Iowa’s league contests. She has 58 RBIs — the second most in a season in Iowa history. Blank is hitting .458 with seven regular season games left. The Iowa record is .428 — set by Kim Davis in 1993.
Iowa has outscored in-state opponents 28-1 this season. The Hawkeyes won at Drake 18-0 in five innings on April 3.
Iowa (25-21, 4-13) returns home to host Penn State in a three-game set this weekend. Game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Pearl Field.
|Iowa 10, UNI 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|W: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 14-11|
|L: Abbie VanVleet (UNI) 2-6|