Hawkeyes Fall to Cyclones, 5-4

April 15, 2015


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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team fell to Iowa State, 5-4, at Pearl Field on Wednesday night. The loss gives the Cyclones a 15-11 victory in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.

The Hawkeyes fall to 14-32 on the season, while the Cyclones improve to 21-17. Iowa State found the scoreboard first, plating three runs in the top of the first. The Cyclones used four walks, an error and a two RBI single to take an early 3-0 lead.

“Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a hole early on,” said head coach Marla Looper. “We couldn’t find the zone and an error on a potential double play ball hurt us in that inning. We didn’t look sharp at all tonight.”

The Hawkeyes got two back in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Claire Fritsch and redshirt sophomore Sammi Gyerman led off the frame with back-to-back walks. Senior Megan Blank capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a single to center to put the Hawkeyes on the board. Redshirt junior Holly Hoffman drew a walk to load the bases, before Gyerman scored on a wild pitch to pull Iowa within a run of the Cyclones, 3-2.

After holding the Cyclones scoreless in the top of the second, the Hawkeyes tied the contest in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Cheyenne Pratt sent a one-out single up the middle before Gyerman plated her with a single through the right side.

Iowa State pulled ahead in the third with on a solo home run to left field by Cyclone second baseman Maddie Reese. The Hawkeyes evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Blank led off the frame with a single through the right side, and sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey followed with a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Blank scored on an error by the Cyclone third baseman to tie the game, 4-4.

After trading zeros in the fourth, Iowa State plated the go-ahead run in the fifth when the Cyclone designated hitter sent a go-ahead solo shot over the center field wall to give Iowa State a 5-4 lead.

The Hawkeyes put runners on in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, but could not come up with a timely hit. Sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey sent her first career triple through the right side in the fifth, while Pratt and Blank registered singles in the sixth and seventh, respectively.

Blank led the Hawkeyes at the plate on a 3-for-4 effort — her 15th multiple hit game of the season — recording three singles, an RBI, and scoring a run. The senior has now reached base and registered a hit in eight-straight games. Pratt also recorded a multiple hit performance — her sixth of the season — going 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored.

Shayla Starkenburg (12-18) took the loss in the circle. The redshirt sophomore allowed two earned runs on six hits and five walks. The Ankeny, Iowa, native fanned seven in the contest, bringing her total to 18 strikeouts in her last two appearances.

Iowa returns to action this weekend when it travels to West Lafayette, Indiana, for a three-game set against the Boilermakers.

“We need to go in and win this series,” said Looper. “It’s not going to be easy, but we need to start with Friday night’s game and just take care of game one. We need to go in and play better ball than we did tonight and give ourselves an opportunity.”

Iowa State 5, Iowa 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Iowa State (21-17) 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 5 6 1
Iowa (14-32) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 7 1
Game Decision
W: Roggentien (ISU) 8-3
L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 12-18
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