Oct. 12, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa –The University of Iowa softball team finished out its fall season as they took on the University of Kansas and Kirkwood Community at Pearl Field on Saturday, Oct. 12.
In game one, Iowa defeated Kansas, 1-0. The Hawkeyes scored their only run in the bottom of the sixth inning. After five scoreless innings, freshman Kaitlyn Mullarkey scored from second base on a hit to center field by freshman Alyssa Navarro.
Senior Kayla Massey, the winning pitcher, recorded five strikeouts and forced 13 Kansas ground-outs. Senior Brianna Luna reached safely on two out of three times up to bat as she was hit by a pitch in the first inning and reached first base on an error in the third inning. Massey led the Hawkeyes, collecting two of the team’s three hits. Navarro recorded one hit and a RBI.
The Hawkeyes concluded the afternoon with a 9-4 victory over Kirkwood Community College. Sophomore Micaela Whitney started the game and finished with six strikeouts. Redshirt freshman Shayla Starkenburg replaced Whitney in the fifth inning to finish the game. Starkenburg finished with three strikeouts.
After establishing a 5-3 lead in the first five innings of play, Iowa had a strong sixth inning. The Hawkeyes scored four runs on four hits, two errors, and two walks.
Redshirt sophomore Holly Hoffman led the Hawkeyes with two of Iowa’s eight hits, both were doubles. Iowa also received hits from Navarro, Luna, Massey, sophomore Haley Hansel, and freshman Claire Fritsch. Head coach Marla Looper was pleased with how the team performed.
“It was nice to come out with two wins,” Looper said. “Unfortunately, we struggled offensively during the first game and it took us a while to make some adjustments. But the positive was, we stuck it out and kept fighting to put a run across and hold Kansas in the top of the seventh.
“Game two, we did a better job offensively and made some adjustments early. We have to eliminate some of the early errors and attack the ball better defensively. Overall, I’m proud of them. We came out with more fire and were ready to end the fall season positively.”
Following today’s victories, Iowa finished the fall season with a 5-2 record.
“I think we grew over the fall season,” Looper said. “That’s the point: to grow and take in on what we need to learn over the next five months until we step out on the field again.”