Feb. 15, 2015
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Iowa softball team fell to No. 1 Florida, 8-0, on Sunday afternoon. The Iowa offense was held to three hits in the contest and left five runners on base.
The Hawkeyes drop to 3-5 on the season following the loss, while Florida improves to 10-0. The Gators scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning with singles from Lauren Haeger, Bailey Castro and Taylor Schwarz. Sophomore hurler Shayla Starkenburg ended the Gator rally with back-to-back strikeouts.
Iowa put the first two batters on in the top of the second. Junior Erin Erickson reached on an infield single to the shortstop before freshman Allie Wood hit a sharp grounder to cause an error by the Florida second basemen. Florida sophomore Delanie Gourley ended the Iowa scoring chance when she struck out the next three batters.
“They are a quality ball club,” said head coach Marla Looper. “Coming down here we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We should be able to step on the field with anybody in the country, and I think we had some proof this weekend that we can accomplish that. We have to believe that to be able to do that.”
The Hawkeyes silenced a Florida scoring chance in the bottom of the second. After the first two batters reached base, Starkenburg registered her third strikeout of the game. The Hawkeyes got the final two outs on a double play. Freshman Sarah Kurtz fielded a grounder at third, stepped on the bag and threw to Erickson at first to end the Gator scoring chance.
Florida tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third. Taylore Fuller started the rally with a solo homerun to left. The Gators followed with an infield single to third, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI bunt single. Florida plated its final run of the inning on a bases-loaded walk. The Gators added a run in the fourth and fifth innings to secure the 8-0 win.
Starkenburg (2-3) took the loss in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in 4.1 innings of work.
“Shayla showed great promise today with her approach to the game,” said Looper. “We didn’t have the zone we wanted, but that just proves that we don’t have to have the strike zone we want to get them to do some things with the pitches we put up there.”
Iowa returns to action when it travels to Lafayette, La., for the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational on Feb. 20-22.
|Florida 9, Iowa 0
|W: Gourley (FLA) 3-0
|L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 2-3