April 27, 2014
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A pair of Hawkeye home runs and a complete game performance from Kayla Massey in the circle allows the University of Iowa softball team to post a 3-2 victory over Indiana on Sunday afternoon. The result gives the Hawkeyes their third Big Ten series win of the season.
The Hawkeyes improve to 15-26-1 overall and 8-12 in Big Ten action, while the Hoosiers drop to 15-35-1 overall and 5-15 in conference play.
Brianna Luna started the game with a single to center and moved up to third on a Megan Blank double — her eighth of the season. Kayla Massey was intentionally walked for the first time this year to load the bases with two away, but the Hawkeyes were unable to reach the scoring column and stranded three.
After being retired in order in the second, Iowa erased its zero on the score board in the top of the third on a Blank one-out, solo homerun to right field. It is her third of the season and the 16th of her career, which ties her for 12th all-time.
Indiana used a two-out rally to answer in the bottom of the second inning. A double and a single started the Hoosier push. Kassi Farmer delivered a two-RBI single to right to give her team a 2-1 lead.
Erin Erickson evened the contest, 2-2, with one swing of the bat, when she ripped a ball over the fence in left field with two outs in the top of the third. It marks her third home run of the season and her first long ball since Feb. 14 against Missouri.
“It’s nice to see Erin square one up again,” head coach Marla Looper said. “She did that early on in the year and has been trying all year to do that instead of relaxing and trusting her ability, process and preparation. It was good to see her square one up and that allowed us to tie the ball game.”
After stranding two runners in the fifth and going down in order in the sixth, the Hawkeyes broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh. Alyssa Navarro opened the frame with a pinch hit single to center and Kaitlyn Mullarkey followed with a bunt single to put a pair on base with no outs.
Both runners moved into scoring position on a Luna groundout, and Holly Hoffman hit a hard ground ball to second base in the next at bat. The Hoosiers got the out at home plate and tried to throw out Hoffman at first for an inning-ending double play, but a throwing error allowed an Iowa run to score.
“Alyssa was ready to go, and we thought she would give us the best opportunity as a lefty,” Looper said. “She does a nice job with the ball coming in on her, and she did exactly what we asked her to. She found a way to put the ball in play on a pitch in on her hands.”
The Hoosiers hit two singles with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Massey was able to end their comeback efforts with her fourth strikeout and secure the 3-2 final win for Iowa. She recorded her ninth complete game win of the season and moved to 9-14-1.
“She beared down,” Looper said. “She did a nice job in the circle and had good command. You just tip your hat to Kayla for that since they saw her Friday. They made adjustments and she made adjustments. Fortunately, she was able to come out with the outcome.”
Luna and Blank led the Hawkeye offense with two hits each. Also recording hits for Iowa were Hoffman, Erickson, Navarro and Mullarkey.
Iowa closes its regular season with five home games at Pearl Field next week. The action begins with midweek games against Western Illinois on Tuesday and Northern Iowa on Wednesday and concludes with a Big Ten series against Ohio State, May 2-4. Saturday’s game will be Alumni Day and Sunday will be Senior Day for Brianna Luna, Kayla Massey and Michelle Zoeller.
|Iowa 3, Indiana 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Iowa (15-26-1, 8-12)||0||0||1||1||0||0||1||3||8||0|
|Indiana (15-35-1, 5-15)||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||8||1|
|W: Massey (IOWA) 9-14-1|
|L: Murphy (IND) 5-14|