Hawkeyes Fall to Illinois in Big Ten Opener

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team dropped an 8-0 decision to Illinois on Friday afternoon in its Big Ten opener at Pearl Field.
“We came out here ready to open up conference play, and unfortunately Illinois got the best of us today,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We have to do a better job of putting the ball in play. We have to keep the ball on the ground and not in the air.”
Allison Doocy suffered the loss, throwing one strikeout in 2.0 innings pitched. In relief, Elizabeth Wiegand allowed just one hit and one run in 3.0 innings pitched.
The Fighting Illini (20-8, 1-0 Big Ten) took the lead in the top of the first inning, scoring three runs on three hits. The Illini then took advantage of three hits and three Hawkeye miscues to add three runs in the second inning. Illinois extended its lead, scoring off a Stephanie Abello home run over right field in the third inning and a Ruby Rivera RBI single to left field in the fifth.
“With a series, you get to play three games instead of one,” said Looper. “We’ll be back here on Sunday to see the same Illinois team. We have to go out and take care of business on our end.”
The Hawkeyes (6-18, 0-1 Big Ten) conclude the three-game series against the Illini in a doubleheader Sunday at 12 p.m. Game two will begin approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one.