April 15, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team dropped a 5-4 decision to Wisconsin at Bob Pearl Field on Friday evening.
“I think there was a couple times today where the ball didn’t bounce our way,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Our kids know they can win. They believe in themselves, they believe in each other, and that’s how we stay in these ball games.”
After two scoreless innings, Wisconsin found the scoreboard in the top of the third. A hit by pitch and an infield single put a pair of runners on, before a three-run home run gave the Badgers a 3-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes got two back in the bottom third. Sophomore Katy Taylor led off the inning with a bunt single and moved herself into scoring position with a stolen base. One batter later, junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey singled and stole a base to put runners on second and third. After a groundout, the Badgers intentionally walked redshirt senior Holly Hoffman to load the bases with two outs. Sophomore Angela Schmiederer capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a two-run single to center to pull the Hawkeyes within one, 3-2.
Iowa tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Mallory Kilian started the rally for the Hawkeyes with a leadoff double. Taylor followed with a single through the right side — her second hit of the day. With runners on first and third, sophomore Claire Fritsch scored Kilian with a 4-3 groundout to tie the game, 3-3.
Wisconsin pulled ahead in the top of the sixth, using three hits to score a pair of runs and take a 5-3 lead.
The Hawkeyes rallied in the seventh. Fritsch led off the inning with a single up the middle. After two quick outs, Hoffman won a battle at the plate. The redshirt senior singled on the 11th pitch of the at bat to put runners on first and third. Schmiederer came through with a single to plate her third run of the day and make it a one-run ball game. Iowa put the winning run on first, but could not complete the comeback as the Badgers held on to win it, 5-4.
Shayla Starkenburg suffered the loss in the circle. The redshirt junior allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out four in six innings. Ashley Yoways threw a scoreless inning in relief. The sophomore gave up a hit and a walk in one full inning.
“Shayla gave us a really good start, and Yoways came in and countered her big time,” said Looper. “I’m proud of both of them. Shayla barred down in a couple at bats, and I haven’t seen her do that since the Big Ten Tournament last year. If she can bring that every game, our opponents need to look out.”
Hoffman, Schmiederer, and Taylor registered two hits apiece for the Hawkeyes. Hoffman reached base in all four of her at bats (two singles, walk, intentional walk).
The Hawkeyes (11-27; 1-11) and Badgers (22-16-1; 7-4-1) meet for game two of the three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. (CT) from Bob Pearl Field.
|Wisconsin 5, Iowa 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Wisconsin (22-16-1; 7-4-1)||0||0||3||0||0||2||0||5||8||0|
|Iowa (11-27; 1-11)||0||0||2||1||0||0||1||4||10||0|
|W: Stewart (UWM) 12-9|
|L: Starkenburg (IOWA) 4-9|