April 2, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team posted eight runs on 15 hits but fell, 11-8, to Western Illinois on Thursday night at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes drop to 11-28 overall following the loss, while the Leathernecks improve to 12-13.
The Hawkeyes reached the scoreboard first. Sophomore Claire Fritsch led off the inning with a single to left, and moved herself into scoring position with her third stolen base of the season. Redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman traded places with her teammate on a double to right center to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second, the Iowa plated three more runs in the bottom of the third. Senior Megan Blank started the frame with her 55th career double before redshirt junior Holly Hoffman sent her third home run of the season over the center field wall. One batter later, sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey recorded her second long ball of the season to give Iowa a 4-0 advantage.
Western Illinois got a run back in the fourth. The Leathernecks used a double to left and a single to right center to narrow the Iowa lead to 4-1.
The Leatherneck bats exploded in the top of the fifth. Western Illinois scored 10 runs on eight hits and one error to take its first lead of the game, 11-4.
“We had the momentum and then we didn’t play defense very well,” said head coach Marla Looper. “Unfortunately that opened the gate for them. Our pitchers didn’t make good pitches and the wheels fell off.”
The Iowa offense plated two runs in the fifth. Sophomore Alyssa Navarro led off the frame with a single down the left field line and moved to second on an error by the Leatherneck left fielder. Freshman Angela Schmiederer plated Navarro with her first career triple and later scored on a wild pitch.
After trading zeros in the sixth, Iowa started to rally in the seventh. Freshman Cheyenne Pratt started the inning with a single to right, and Gyerman plated her on a triple down the right field line. Blank followed with an RBI single to second to get within three runs of the Leathernecks. But it was not enough as the Hawkeyes fell three runs short, 11-8.
Ashley Yoways (2-11) took the loss in the circle. She allowed six earned runs and 10 hits in four innings. Junior Jillian Navarrete pitch a third of an inning in relief, giving up four earned runs on two hits and a walk. Shayla Starkenburg tossed two and two-thirds innings in the contest. The redshirt sophomore did not allow hit, run, or walk and struck out three.
Every hitter in the Hawkeye order recorded a hit. Gyerman (3-for-5), Blank (3-for-4) and Pratt (3-for-4) each tallied multi-hit performances.
“Offensively we continue to peck away,” said Looper. “Unfortunately, we had to play catch up. It was nice to put some runners on in the final innings and get them around. It’s unfortunate that we fell short, but it’s nice to see our kids continue to rally.”
Iowa returns to Pearl Field tomorrow with game one of a three-game set against Illinois. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. (CT).
|Western Illinois 11, Iowa 8||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Western Illinois (12-13)||0||0||0||1||10||0||0||11||12||3|
|W: Kirkpatrick (WIU) 4-6|
|L: Yoways (IOWA) 2-11|