March 21, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa jumped ahead of Maryland (18-12, 1-1) with three runs in the first and never gave up its lead en route to an 8-4 victory Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes (10-21, 1-1) evened the series with the Terrapins with their first Big Ten win and the team’s 10th overall this season.
“They came out hot and that’s one thing we talked about before the game,” head coach Marla Looper said. “We had a lot of hitters in the top of the order set the tone for us, and I’m proud of them for doing that. We also saw players in the bottom of the lineup battle and give themselves opportunities. It’s fun to see that.”
Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman started the Hawkeye rally in the first, doubling home freshman Cheyenne Pratt who reached on a walk. Senior Megan Blank and junior Holly Hoffman delivered back-to-back RBI singles to establish the 3-0 lead.
After a scoreless second and third, Iowa tacked on another run with a solo home run off the bat of freshman Allie Wood in the fourth. It is the second long ball of her career and the first since March 6 against San Jose State.
Hawkeye starting pitcher Shayla Starkenburg did not allow a hit through four innings, protecting her team’s 4-0 lead until the fifth inning when Shannon Bustillos hit a solo home run to left. After walks loaded the bases, an error allowed the Terrapins to score another run to cut the deficit in half, 4-2.
Iowa got one run back in the bottom half of the inning. After a walk by Blank, single by Hoffman, and a walk by freshman Sarah Kurtz loaded the bases, Wood pushed a run across with a groundout.
Bustillos answered for Maryland in the top of the sixth with her second solo home run in as many at bats. The Terrapins drove in a second run with a walk, fielder’s chioice, and two singles to get within one of Iowa, 5-4.
The Hawkeye offense continued to produce, adding three more runs in the sixth to cushion their lead, 8-4. Pratt and Gyerman sparked the rally with consecutive one-out singles and advanced to scoring position on a passed ball. Blank capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a sacrifice fly to left. Hoffman and junior Whitney Repole drove in two more runs with back-to-back doubles before the Terrapins could close the inning with a groundout.
Iowa held the Terrapin offense at bay in the seventh to secure the 8-4 final victory. Starkenburg posted the complete game win in the circle, improving to 8-13. She struck out three and allowed three earned runs on five hits.
Four Hawkeyes recorded multiple hit games, including Hoffman (3-for-4), Blank (2-for-2), Gyerman (2-for-3), and Pratt (2-for-3). Blank, Wood, and Hoffman paced Iowa in run production, driving in two runs apiece.
The rubber match of the series with Maryland is set for 1 p.m. (CT) Sunday at Pearl Field. The game will be shown live on BTN Plus, available at btn2go.com. Live audio and stats are available at hawkeyesports.com.
|Austin Peay 7, Iowa 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Maryland (18-12, 1-1)||0||0||0||0||2||2||0||4||5||1|
|Iowa (10-21, 1-1)||3||0||0||1||1||3||X||8||12||1|
|W: Starkenburg (IOWA) 8-13|
|L: Nation (IOWA) 2-2|