Hawkeyes Drop Series-Opener to Ohio State


May 2, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa softball fell to Ohio State, 6-3, in game one of the weekend series at Pearl Field Friday night. The Hawkeyes dropped to 15-28-1 overall and 8-13 in Big Ten play, while Ohio State improved to 27-23 overall and 12-9 in conference action.

The Hawkeyes reached the scoring column first, putting up a one spot in the bottom half of the first. A Megan Blank walk and a Holly Hoffman single put runners on first and second with one away for Whitney Repole who reached on an error. Blank touched home on the play to give Iowa the early 1-0 lead.

Ohio State responded using three consecutive singles to produce a run of its own in the top of the second to tie the contest, 1-1.

After trading zeroes with the Buckeyes in the third, Iowa regained its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Kayla Massey opened the frame with a double down the left field line — her second two-bagger of the game — and was replaced on the basepaths by Haley Hansel. A Claire Fritsch sacrifice bunt moved Hansel into scoring position for Erickson who laid down a squeeze bunt single to plate a Hawkeye run.

The lead held up for Iowa until Ohio State rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning. An Evelyn Carillo leadoff home run started the scoring drive. After two singles put two runners on base, a Keelia Nester double plated two. The fourth run crossed on a Caitlin Conrad single before Iowa could end the inning with a Massey looking strikeout.

The Hawkeyes got a run back in the bottom half of the frame to get within two runs, 5-3. Hoffman started the inning with her third single of the game and was replaced by pinch runner Kara Misel at first. Misel came around to score on a Whitney Repole single up the middle.

The Buckeyes added an insurance run in the top of the seventh and held the Hawkeyes scoreless in the bottom half to secure the game one win, 6-3. Pinch hitter Alyssa Navarro reached base on a hit by pitch, but a fielder’s choice and two strikeouts ended Iowa’s comeback hopes.

“We got up and kind of sat around instead of continuing to attack,” head coach Marla Looper said. “Ohio State stayed in the ball game, attacked and got ahead. We couldn’t come back.”

Massey (9-16-1) took the complete game loss in the circle. She struck out seven and allowed six runs on 12 hits in her seven innings pitched. Olivia O’Reilly (14-8) recorded the win for Ohio State.

Hoffman matched her career-high and led the team with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. The last time she recorded three hits in a game was at Northwestern on April 13, 2013.

“Holly is giving us a chance every time she comes up to the plate,” Looper said. “It’s been a long time coming. She struggled at the beginning of the year and finally got herself out of that funk. She’s definitely doing her job at the plate.”

Massey went 2-for-3 and matched her career-high with two doubles. She last hit two doubles in a single game against Maryland on March 9, 2013. Repole and Erickson drove in one RBI each to lead the Hawkeyes.

Game two of the series is set for 2 p.m. (CT). It is Alumni Day at Pearl Field and all softball alums in attendance will be recognized in a pregame ceremony.

Ohio State 6, Iowa 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Ohio State (27-23, 12-9) 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 6 12 1
Iowa (15-28-1, 8-13) 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 7 3
Game Decision
W: O’Reilly (OSU) 14-8
L: Massey (IOWA) 9-16-1