Hawkeyes Split on Day 3 of Hawkeye Invitational

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team split a pair of decisions with a 4-2, eight-inning loss to Creighton and a 5-0 victory over South Dakota State on Sunday afternoon in games three and four, respectively, of the Hawkeye Invitational at Pearl Field.
“We fought hard throughout the game against Creighton, and Chip (Kaitlyn Mullarkey) had a great at bat to score the tying run,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, you learn and you grow from those opportunities, and I think we transitioned into game two much better. We took care of the ball, which allowed us to put some runs up, and we took advantage of the mistakes they made.”
Game One
Claire Fritsch was 2-for-3 with a double and one run scored against Creighton (8-15), while Kaitlyn Mullarkey, Devin Cantu, and McKenzie Schneider each added a run. Reliever Elizabeth Wiegand suffered the loss, throwing three strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched.
Trailing by a run and with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Hawkeyes evened the score to force extra innings. Thompson walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single by Mullarkey.
The Bluejays took the early lead in the top of the first inning as Sam Dellinger hit an RBI single to center field. The Hawkeyes evened the score in the bottom of the fifth inning as Fritsch singled to shortstop, stole second, and advanced to third on a Thompson sacrifice bunt before scoring on a Mullarkey sacrifice bunt.
Creighton re-gained the lead in the top of the sixth frame as Jordyn Sturgeon hit an RBI single to center field before the Hawkeyes drew even in the bottom of the seventh. The Bluejays then scored two in the top of the eighth, first on a Sam Dellinger RBI single and again on a Hawkeye miscue.
Game Two
Fritsch was a perfect 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored against South Dakota State (13-18), while Mullarkey and Angela Schmiederer each went 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Devin Cantu also chipped in a hit. Allison Doocy earned the win, throwing a career-high nine strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched.
“You just have to put the ball in play sometimes and fortunately today, the wind helped us and hurt the opponent,” said Looper. “We took advantage of it and instead of just accepting one base, we took two or three bases on their mistakes. Then we made it hurt a little more by putting more runs across.”
After a scoreless first inning, the Hawkeyes took advantage of three Jackrabbit miscues and a Fritsch double to take the lead. Schmiederer walked before Havyn Monteer reached first on an error by the pitcher. Both runners then scored on a throwing error by South Dakota State’s right fielder. Fritsch doubled to right center before scoring on a second throwing error by the right fielder.
After Doocy worked her way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, Iowa extended its lead in the bottom of the inning. Mullarkey was hit by pitch, moved to second on a Cantu ground out, and stole third before scoring on an RBI double by Schmiederer.
The Hawkeyes added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Fritsch walked, advanced to second on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on an RBI double by Mullarkey.
“This is definitely a great for us going in to conference,” said Mullarkey. “Conference starts a new season with a 0-0 record, and these wins here are going to help us maintain that drive and focus once we start Big Ten play.”
The Hawkeyes (5-17) face South Dakota on Monday at 3 p.m. in the final game of the Hawkeye Invitational at Pearl Field.