Buckeyes Outlast Hawkeyes in Game 2


May 3, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa and Ohio State battled back and forth in game two of the Big Ten series, but the Buckeyes survived the Hawkeye seventh inning comeback drive to record the 7-6 final win.

The loss drops Iowa to 15-29-1 overall and 8-14 in Big Ten action, while Ohio State improves to 28-23 overall and 13-9 conference play.

After a scoreless first and second, Ohio State broke the scoreless tie in the third. A hit by pitch and an error put two on base with one away. Three Buckeye singles followed to plate two runs before the Hawkeyes could get out of the inning with a pair of groundouts.

Iowa responded in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits and an error. Holly Hoffman opened the frame with a single, moved to second on a throwing error and was replaced on the basepaths by pinch runner Kara Misel. Whitney Repole was hit by a pitch to put two on base. After a fielder’s choice got the lead out at third, Alyssa Navarro singled in the first Hawkeye run. A passed ball allowed the second run to cross and an Erin Erickson single plated the go-ahead run for Iowa.

The Buckeyes drew a one-out walk and moved their runner into scoring position on a groundout for Leesa Greshman, who delivered an RBI single to plate a run and knot the game, 3-3, in the top of the fifth. Ohio State added two runs in the sixth to break the tie and two more in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Michelle Zoeller and Brianna Luna used consecutive singles up the middle to give Megan Blank an RBI opportunity with one away. She came through with the third single up the middle in a row and Zoeller slid in safely under the tag at home for the first run.

Holly Hoffman scored the second run with a sacrifice fly into shallow right center. After a second Repole hit by pitch, Kayla Massey singled in the third run of the inning to cut the deficit down to one run. Ohio State used fielded a pop fly on the next play to end the Hawkeye rally and solidify the final 7-6 final win.

“We gave them runs,” head coach Marla Looper said. “We gave up three walks and all of them scored. You put them on for free, then you get to your big hitters and it hurts. Those last four runs hurt us. We have to be better in the circle and we have to get better defensively.

“We did continue to come back, which is great to see. One of these days, we’re going to get a win for that.”

Four Hawkeyes turned in multiple hit performances including Blank (2-for-3), Navarro (2-for-4), Erickson (2-for-3) and Zoeller (2-for-3). Blank, Hoffman, Massey, Navarro and Erickson each posted one RBI in the contest.

Shayla Starkenburg (4-10) took the loss in the circle. She struck out five and allowed seven runs on 12 hits in her 6.2 innings pitched. Micaela Whitney threw the final 0.1 innings and held Ohio State to one hit.

The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes meet for the final game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT). It is Senior Day at Pearl Field for Brianna Luna, Kayla Massey and Michelle Zoeller. They will be recognized in a ceremony following the completion of the game.

Ohio State 7, Iowa 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Ohio State (28-23, 13-9) 0 0 2 0 1 2 2 7 12 1
Iowa (15-29-1, 8-14) 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 6 11 1
Game Decision
W: O’Reilly (OSU) 15-8
L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 4-10
S: Hursh (OSU) 5