Iowa Sweeps No. 13/15 Missouri


April 16, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team scored 16 runs and recorded 20 hits to sweep No. 13/15 Missouri in doubleheader action at Pearl Field Wednesday afternoon. The Hawkeyes won the first game, 3-1, halting the Tigers’ six-game win streak, and fought back-and-forth with the Tigers before earning the game two victory, 13-9.

It marked Iowa’s first wins over Missouri since March 29, 2000. The Hawkeyes own a 12-23 overall record following the doubleheader, while the Tigers drop to 32-12.

The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead the top of the first in game one, but the Hawkeye offense responded scoring all three of their runs in the contest in the bottom of the second. Erin Erickson reached on an error to open the frame and advanced to second base on an Alyssa Navarro sacrifice bunt. Whitney Repole drove her in with a double to left center to tie the contest, 1-1.

Mullarkey singled and advanced to second base on the throw home that held Repole at third base. With teammates in scoring position, Brianna Luna delivered with a go-ahead, two-RBI single into right center field.

The Iowa lead held up from there as both teams traded zeroes for the remainder of the contest. The Hawkeyes and the Tigers left three runners on base in the final five innings of play.

Kayla Massey (7-12) recorded her seventh complete game win of the season and her second victory over a ranked foe of 2014, as she posted a win over No. 23 Northwestern on April 6, 4-3. She held the Tigers to four hits and one earned run, and struck out one. Missouri’s Casey Stangel (13-6) was tagged with the loss. She allowed five hits and three runs in her six innings of work.

Repole led the Hawkeye offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. She recorded a single, her fourth double of the season and drove in a run. Luna posted a team-high two RBIs and went 1-for-3 at the plate. Megan Blank (1-for-3) and Kaitlyn Mullarkey (1-for-3) also recorded hits for Iowa.

Iowa 3, #13/15 Missouri 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Missouri (32-11) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 4
Iowa (11-23) 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 3 5 1
Game Decision
W: Massey (IOWA) 7-12
L: Stangel (MIZ) 13-6

Missouri took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and the Hawkeyes responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning for the second consecutive game.

Holly Hoffman started the bottom of the second with a single to center and was replaced on the basepaths by pinch runner Haley Hansel. Erin Erickson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Hansel into scoring position for Whitney Repole who hit her second double in as many games to tie it up, 1-1. Michelle Zoeller kept the pressure on the Tiger defense, singling to right to score Repole and stealing her way into scoring position at second base. Kaitlynn Mullarkey ripped her third double of the season to score Zoeller and give Iowa a 3-1 advantage.

Each team added a run in the third inning keeping Iowa’s two-run lead intact, 4-2. Megan Blank started the bottom of the third with her seventh double of the year, moved up to third base on a Tiger passed ball and touched home on an Alyssa Navarro single.

The Tiger offense came alive in the top of the fourth and fifth, scoring five runs on four hits. The surge game Missouri its lead back, 7-4.

However, the Hawkeye sticks heated up in the bottom half of the fifth, producing a six-run, six-hit rally. Consecutive one-out doubles from Hoffman and Erickson produced the first run of the inning. Navarro followed it up hitting her first career triple to score Erickson. Repole continued her hitting streak with her second home run of the season and the third of her Hawkeye career to clear the bases and force Tiger starting pitcher Alora Marble from the circle.

The inning continued with back-to-back singles from Zoeller and Mullarkey. Brianna Luna drew a walk to load the bases for Claire Fritsch who plated a run with a fielder’s choice. Hoffman added the sixth run of the inning by drawing another walk before Missouri could end the rally with a strikeout.

Missouri put three runners on base with walks in the top of the sixth and used a sacrifice fly at the wall in center field to add a run to its total, cutting the deficit to two runs, 10-8.

Iowa’s offense continued its hot streak, getting the run back and then some in the bottom half of the inning. After a Repole walk and a Zoeller single, Mullarkey hit her first career home run to right center, plating three for the Hawkeyes. The long ball extended Iowa’s advantage, 13-8.

The Tigers went on to add one more run in the top half of the second but the Hawkeye defense used a Blank to Fritsch to Mullarkey double play and a foul out to end the comeback attempt and collect the game two victory, 13-9.

Micaela Whitney (2-3) recorded the win in the circle. She threw the final 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit and one earned run. Missouri’s Stangel (13-7), who entered the game in relief, was tagged with her second loss of the day.

Mullarkey paced the Hawkeye offense with a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the plate. Her three hits and four RBIs are career-highs. She also hit the first home run of her career in the contest. Repole went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Navarro went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Also recording hits in the contest were Fritsch (1-for-5), Blank (1-for-5), Hoffman (2-for-3), Erickson (1-for-3) and Zoeller (3-for-4). The Hawkeyes’ 13 runs scored is a season-high for the squad.

“The team stayed relaxed at the plate today,” head coach Marla Looper said. “If they get tight and anxious then they limit their opportunities. They did a nice job staying relaxed and not letting one pitch affect their at bat. They get another chance and knew that they needed just one pitch to produce a good at bat.

“I’m proud of our girls, how they bounced back after last weekend. They emotionally and mentally regrouped. They knew that getting back on the horse and facing a very good Missouri team was important. We knew if we could control our attitude and our effort, and we kept that throughout the game, we stood a chance of beating them. We were ready to attack, and we did that today.”

UI softball is back in action at Pearl Field this weekend against Big Ten foe Michigan State. Game one of the series is set for 6 p.m. (CT) on Friday, April 18, game two begins at 2 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, April 19, and game three is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, April 20.

Iowa 13, #13/15 Missouri 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Missouri (32-12) 1 0 1 3 2 1 1 9 12 2
Iowa (12-23) 0 3 1 0 6 3 X 13 15 1
Game Decision
W: Whitney (IOWA) 2-3
L: Stangel (MIZ) 13-7