April 2, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team lost a back-and-forth battle to Purdue, 8-7, on Saturday afternoon at Bob Pearl Field. Iowa falls to 8-21 overall and 0-5 in Big Ten action with the loss, while Purdue secures the series victory and improves to 20-14 on the season and 2-3 in conference play.
Purdue got the bats going early, plating two runs in the top of the first inning. The Boilermakers used a walk and back-to-back singles — all with 2 outs — to take a 2-0 lead.
“Purdue set the tempo early when they put up two runs,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We are facing Fecho who is one of the best pitchers in the conference, and when you give up two runs early there is going to be a battle on your hands. We have to play defense, we have to throw better pitches, and we have to give ourselves more of an opportunity early on.”
The Boilermakers extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third on a double and back-to-back singles.
Iowa struck back in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Daniella Ibarra led off the inning with a single to right — her first hit of the season. Junior Claire Fritsch followed with a an infield single, before redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman knotted the game with a three-run home run to left center.
“Sammi had been struggling a little bit coming into this series,” said Looper. “Yesterday she had that infield single, and that put a spark in her. She came up big for us today.”
Purdue regained the lead in the top of the fourth. A bunt single, stolen base, throwing error, and an RBI fielder’s choice put the Boilermakers ahead, 4-3.
The Hawkeyes struck back in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, senior Whitney Repole sent a double to left center, before sophomore Allie Wood capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a single up the middle to tie the game, 4-4.
The Boilermakers came back in the fifth, plating three runs on three hits and an error to take a 7-4 lead. The Hawkeyes battled; however, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning. Fritsch reached on an error and stole a base to move herself into scoring position. With two outs, senior Holly Hoffman sent a two-run blast to left center to pull the Hawkeyes within one, 7-6.
After a scoreless sixth, Purdue extended its lead in the seventh. The Boilermakers used a pair of singles, a double, and a sacrifice bunt to extend their lead, 8-6.
Gyerman made it a one-run ball game with her second home run of the day in the bottom of the seventh. The blast was her third home run of the season and the ninth of her career. Hoffman followed with her second career triple to put the tying run on third with one out. After a strikeout, senior Erin Erickson reached on a hit by pitch to put the winning run on first. The Hawkeyes could not score her; however, as a strikeout ended the game.
Redshirt junior Shayla Starkenburg suffered the loss in the circle. The Ankeny, Iowa, native allowed five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk. She struck out three in four innings of work. Sophomore Ashley Yoways gave up two earned runs on a pair of hits in 1/3 of an inning. Erin Riding also saw time in relief. The freshman allowed one earned run on three hits in two and 2/3s.
Gyerman, Hoffman, and Wood each recorded multiple-hit games for the Hawkeyes. Gyerman paced the offense with a 3-for-4 effort, registering a pair of home runs, a single, a stolen base, and four RBIs. Hoffman went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple, while Allie Wood registered a pair of singles and an RBI.
The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers conclude the three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT). The game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.
|Purdue 6, Iowa 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Purdue (20-14; 2-3)||2||0||1||1||3||0||1||8||15||1|
|Iowa (8-21; 0-5)||0||0||3||1||2||0||1||7||10||2|
|W: Fecho (PU) 15-6|
|L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 3-6|