Hawkeyes Fall to Badgers in Game 1

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MADISON, Wis. — The University of Iowa softball team fell, 8-1, to Wisconsin on Friday night in game one of the series at Goodman Diamond.
“Coming into tonight, we knew we would be matched up pretty well with Wisconsin,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Unfortunately they struck first because we gave them an opportunity with a miscue. Both teams had one error, and whoever struck first was going to establish a good tempo. Unfortunately we put ourselves in a hole. The field is hard, but they are used to it and they took advantage of it.”
Kaitlyn Mullarkey and Cheyenne Pratt were both 1-for-2, while Mullarkey added a run. Shayla Starkenburg suffered the loss, throwing three strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
After a scoreless first inning, the Badgers (24-6, 3-4 Big Ten) took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs on two hits. Wisconsin added a run in the third frame on a Jordan Little RBI single.
The Hawkeyes got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. Mullarkey singled to center field, advanced to second as Wood reached first on a fielder’s choice, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on an Angela Schmiederer sacrifice fly to left field.
Wisconsin extended its lead when Melanie Cross hit a two-RBI home run over left field in the bottom of the fifth before Chloe Miller added a two-RBI home run over right field in the sixth.
“The good thing is we play again tomorrow,” said Looper. “Odds are we will probably face Kaitlyn Menz again. She threw a nice ball game. We have to figure out how to get her out of the game to see the next pitchers. We have the ability to do that, we just have to be on the offensive when we are at bat.”
Iowa (8-22, 2-5 Big Ten) takes on Wisconsin in game two of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) at Goodman Diamond.