SAN MARCOS, Texas – Nine different Hawkeyes amassed 16 hits as the University of Iowa softball team secured a 2-1 win over Abilene Christian and an 8-0 victory over Texas A&M Corpus Christi at the Bobcat Softball Complex on Friday to open the season.
Game One – Abilene Christian
Junior Allie Wood hit a game-winning single to help lift the Hawkeyes (2-0) to a 2-1 victory over Abilene Christian (0-1) in the first game of the CenturyLink Classic.
“Any win is big,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “To start the season off with a long game without any runs, then to give up a run was hard. But the fact that we were able to come back and win it there in the sixth and hold on in the seventh is a true testament to what these kids are doing in practice day in and day out. They are fighting and not giving up and pushing through.”
Allison Doocy secured her first win of the season in the circle, registering five strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched. The freshman allowed and had one walk in 26 batters faced.
Allison Doocy secured her first win of the season in the circle, registering five strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched. The freshman allowed five hits and had one walk in 26 batters faced.
Hannah Null picked up the loss as she allowed six hits and two runs in 5.1 innings pitched.
Seven Hawkeyes tallied hits. Kaitlyn Mullarkey and Mallory Kilian hit doubles, while Brook Rozier, Claire Fritsch, Katy Taylor, Devin Cantu and Allie Wood each recorded singles. Cantu and Wood also tallied one RBI each.
After five scoreless innings, ACU took the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Taylor Brown singled to center field. She advanced to second on a ground out and moved to third on a Peyton Hedrick single to left field, while Hedrick advanced to second on the throw. Brown then scored on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes charged back to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Katy Taylor led off with a single to left field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kaitlyn Mullarkey. In her Hawkeye debut, pinch hitter Devin Cantu hit an RBI single to the right side to score Taylor and knot the game at 1-1. Cheyenne Pratt then re-entered the game for Cantu at first base.
Kilian hit a ground-rule double to center field to put two runners in scoring position for Iowa, and after Pratt was caught stealing home, Kilian scored on an RBI single up the middle by Wood to give the Hawkeyes a 2-1 win over the Wildcats.
Game Two – Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Mullarkey led the Hawkeyes as she went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and one RBI to help lift the Hawkeyes to an 8-0 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi (0-1) in game 2 of the CenturyLink Classic at the Bobcat Softball Complex. McKenzie Schneider went 2-for-3 with one run scored in her first outing as a Hawkeye. Kilian registered four RBI and scored one run on one hit.
“Wins make you feel good and wins are what we are here to do, but we think of the games as more than just wins and losses,” said Looper. “The second win was a team effort. We worked the plan and the process offensively, and defensively we took care of the ball in the circle. We always try to eliminate free passes. We only had one or two walks, but then we didn’t allow them to score off of those walks.”
Shayla Starkenburg (1-0) notched her first win in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She held the Islanders to four hits and fanned four batters in 6.0 innings pitched.
The Hawkeyes scored first in the top of the third inning. Taylor was walked and Mullarkey was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Pratt hit an RBI single up the middle to score Taylor and move Mullarkey into scoring position. Pratt and Mullarkey advanced to second and third, respectively, on a wild pitch. Mullarkey then scored on a Mallory Killian sacrifice fly to left field to give Iowa a 2-0 advantage.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Mullarkey walked, advanced to second on a Pratt groundout, and moved to third as Kilian grounded out. Wood hit a two-run home run to left field to give Iowa a 4-0 lead.
Iowa added four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Cantu entered as a pinch hitter and singled to center field. Alex Rath entered as a pinch runner and advanced to second as McKenzie Schnieder singled through the left side. Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice and Mullarkey doubled down the right field line to score Schneider.
Pratt followed, reaching on a fielder’s choice, and Mullarkey advanced to third. Kilian then blasted a three-run home run to left field as Iowa secured an 8-0 shutout over the Islanders.
Iowa takes the field again tomorrow as they face Texas State at 10 a.m. (CT) and Texas Tech at 3 p.m. in day two of the CenturyLink Classic.