Feb. 9, 2014
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of Iowa softball team posted a season-high 12 hits and sixth runs, but fell short to Ohio, 9-6, in its final game of the Carolina Classic on Sunday morning. The Hawkeyes finish week one with a 2-2 mark, while the Bobcats (4-0) finish undefeated.
Iowa got on the board in a hurry, scoring two runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. Erin Erickson singled then came around to score on a Michelle Zoeller double. Kayla Massey followed with a double down the left line to plate Zoeller.
Ohio responded with four runs on three hits and an error in the bottom of the first to jump ahead of the Hawkeyes and take its first lead of the ball game, 4-2.
In the second inning, the Hawkeyes continued to perform offensively. Holly Hoffman opened the inning with a single and was replaced on the basepaths by Kaitlyn Mullarkey, who moved to second on a Sammi Gyerman sacrifice bunt. Megan Blank used a single to right to score Mullarkey and collect her first RBI of the season. On an Erickson double, Blank wheeled home to knot the contest, 4-4.
The Bobcat offense had an answer once again, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second to pull ahead of Iowa 6-4. Ohio extended its lead to four runs by adding one run in the third and fourth innings.
In the top of the fifth, Gyerman hit her second triple in as many games to score Alyssa Navarro who was hit by a pitch earlier in the frame. Claire Fritsch ran out an infield single to plate Gyerman from third afterwards to cut the deficit down to three runs, 9-6.
Each team’s offense fell silent in the sixth and seventh finalizing the game in favor of the Bobcats, 9-6.
Massey (0-2) took the loss in the circle allowing seven hits and seven earned runs in her 3.2 innings pitched. Whitney threw two innings – giving up an earned run on five hits – before turning it over to Shayla Starkenburg who closed out the contest.
Four Hawkeyes had multiple hit performances including Blank (2-for-4), Erickson (2-for-4), Hoffman (2-for-3) and Gyerman (2-for-2).
“Unfortunately and fortunately, we started the way we practiced this week,” head coach Marla Looper said. “We struggled defensively and we hit the ball really well. That is exactly what we carried into this weekend. It wasn’t what we were looking for or what we expected, but it was how we prepared.
“We saw some good efforts from people offensively. Erin Erickson made some solid contact this weekend, and the bottom of our lineup really helped us out scoring us some runs. We just have to get better on the mound and defensively.”
The Hawkeyes are back in action at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas next weekend, Feb. 14-16. Iowa faces Lipscomb and East Carolina on Friday, UAB and host Baylor on Saturday, and Drake on Sunday.