March 20, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Hawkeyes posted 14 runs on 12 hits but fell, 15-14, in a slugfest to Maryland in their Big Ten Conference opener on Friday afternoon at Pearl Field. University of Iowa softball drops to 9-21 overall following the loss, while the Terrapins improve to 18-11 with their 19-hit outing.
After a scoreless first, Maryland reached the scoreboard in the second. A leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles equaled the run for the Terrapins. Senior Megan Blank answered for the Hawkeyes with a solo home run to deep center field to start the bottom half of the inning and knot the score 1-1.
The Terrapins regained a lead in the third, scoring one run on two hits, but it did not hold up for long. The Hawkeye offense rallied back, scoring a season-high 11 runs on seven hits and one error to stake a commanding 12-2 advantage.
Junior Erin Erickson and sophomore Claire Fritsch opened the frame with consecutive singles and freshman Cheyenne Pratt reached on an error to load the bases. Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman plated a pair of runs with a single through the right side to chase the Terrapin starting pitcher from the circle.
Senior Megan Blank drew a walk to reload the bases for sophomore Alyssa Navarro who drove in a run with a single to right field. Freshman Sarah Kurtz brought in another run with a walk, and freshman Allie Wood doubled in two more. After an Erickson walk, a passed ball allowed a run to cross. Fritsch kept the hits coming with a single to prompt another pitching change. Iowa added three more runs, one on an illegal pitch and two on another Gyerman double, before the Terrapins could end the drive.
Maryland crept its way back into the contest, turning a potential run rule result into a come from behind win. The Terrapins scored four runs on six hits in the fourth, three runs on three hits in the fifth, three runs on two hits in the sixth, and three runs on four hits in the seventh.
The Iowa offense started a rally in the seventh, scoring a run to get within one of the Terrapins. But it was not enough as the Hawkeyes fell one run short, 15-14. Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg (7-13) took the loss in the circle. She allowed 11 earned runs and 15 hits in her five innings. Freshman Ashley Yoways tossed two innings in the contest, allowing four earned runs on four hits.
Every hitter in the Hawkeye order reached base with a hit or a walk at least once in the game. Gyerman paced the team with four RBIs and a 3-for-5 performance at the plate. Fritsch also put together a multiple hit performance going 3-for-5 with an RBI.
The Hawkeyes and Terrapins play game two of their conference series at 2 p.m. (CT) on Saturday at Pearl Field. Links to live video, audio and stats are available at the softball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
|Maryland 15, Iowa 14
|Maryland (18-11, 1-0)
|Iowa (9-21, 0-1)
|W: Dewey (MD) 4-5
|L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 7-13
|S: Schmeiser (MD) 3