Hawkeyes Beat Rutgers, Secure Series

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team scored five unanswered runs to defeat Rutgers, 5-4, Saturday afternoon at Pearl Field. With the victory, the Hawkeyes secured a series win over the Scarlet Knights and moved to 7-6 in conference action.
“We really settled down in the fourth inning and let the ball come to us,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We squared balls up and started to put the ball in play. We forced some action. After falling behind, it would have been easy to give up, but every past loss has been educational for us. This team doesn’t know the word quit, and that’s why we were able to come back in this game.”
Cheyenne Pratt was a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs, Claire Fritsch was 1-for-2 with a run and three RBIs, Angela Schmiederer was 2-for-3 with a run, and Devin Cantu was 1-for-1 with two RBIs. Allie Wood and Mallory Kilian also chipped in hits. Shayla Starkenburg collected the victory, throwing five strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched.
After two scoreless innings, the Scarlet Knights (10-29, 1-10 Big Ten) took the lead in the top of the third inning when Rebecca Hall hit a two-RBI double to left field. Rutgers took advantage of two hits and a Hawkeye miscue to extend its lead to four runs in the top of the fourth frame.
The Hawkeyes drew even in the bottom of the fourth inning. Schmiederer singled up the middle and advanced to third as Kilian singled through the right side. Havyn Monteer entered as a pinch runner for Kilian before Pratt used a bunt single to load the bases. Fritsch then lined a double to score Schmiederer and Monteer. Pinch hitter Cantu evened the score with a two-RBI single to right field, scoring Fritsch and Pratt.
Iowa took the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Pratt kicked off the inning with a triple to right center and scored on a Fritsch sacrifice bunt.
“Tomorrow, I’d like to attack early and keep attacking,” said Looper. “We need to start fighting earlier and not wait until the fourth inning. We are ready to get after it tomorrow and finish strong.”
The Hawkeyes (14-23) play for the series sweep Sunday at 12 p.m. (CT) at Pearl Field.