April 13, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey plated three runs in the final two innings to lead the University of Iowa softball team to an, 8-7, walk-off win in eight innings over Drake on Wednesday night. The win marked the team’s second walk-off victory of the season (Lamar, 3/5/16).
“We’ve been right there in a lot of ball games this year,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Being able to come back and get this one in the way that we did was great. We finally got that knockout punch.”
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh, junior Claire Fritsch started a two-out rally when she reached on an error by the Drake second baseman. It proved to be a costly mistake as junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey blasted the game-tying, two-run home run over the wall in left center to send the game into extra innings. Mullarkey’s blast was her eighth of the season and 14th of her career.
“With two outs, Claire (Fritsch) hit a grounder through the second baseman’s legs,” said Mullarkey. “All I thought was that the softball god’s want us to win and I’m going to hit a homerun right here. Then it happened.”
After Drake plated three runs in the top of the eighth, the Hawkeyes rallied in the bottom of the inning. Redshirt senior Holly Hoffman reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning, before senior Haley Hansel came in to pinch run. Sophomore Angela Schmiederer followed with a single to right, and senior Whitney Repole walked to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice, Schmiederer scored on a wild pitch before senior Erin Erickson reached on an error by the third baseman that scored Repole. Back-to-back walks by junior Kara Misel and Fritsch (RBI) followed to tie the game, 7-7.
With the bases loaded and one out, Mullarkey hit a rocket off the glove of the Drake first baseman that scored the game-winning run and gave the Hawkeyes their second walk-off victory of the season.
“Chip (Mullarkey) has been doing that throughout the year,” said Looper. “She was seeing the pitcher really well and had some really good at bats. She was calm and had a great demeanor when she got in the box. Drake didn’t want to face her with the bases loaded there.”
Drake found the scoreboard first, plating a run in the top of the first inning. The Bulldogs used a leadoff double, and an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second, Drake added to its lead in the third. A single, groundout, and an RBI single to left gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
The Hawkeyes knotted the game, 2-2, in the top of the third. Junior Claire Fritsch led off the inning with a single through the right side, before junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey put down a sacrifice bunt to move her into scoring position. Redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a double to right to put the Hawkeyes on the board. One batter later, sophomore Angela Schmiederer tied the game, 2-2, with RBI double to left.
Drake took a 4-2 lead in the in the fourth. The Bulldogs scored two runs on a single, walk, and a double.
Freshman Erin Riding threw two scoreless innings in relief of starter Elizabeth Wiegand. Riding allowed three runs in the top of the eighth. Sophomore Ashley Yoways was credited with the win after recording the final two outs of the eighth inning.
Fritsch and Schmiederer each registered two-hit games for the Hawkeyes, while Mullarkey plated a team-high three RBIs.
“Every game this year, if we are down, we don’t give up,” said Mullarkey. “That’s one of the things I love about this team. Nobody gives up and we’re never done fighting until the game is over.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday when they host the Badgers for game one of a three-game set. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. (CT) from Bob Pearl Field.
|Iowa 8, Drake 7||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||R||H||E|
|W: Yoways (IOWA) 1-2|
|L: Newman (DU) 16-7|