Hawkeyes Drop Series Opener to Northwestern

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team fell, 5-2, to Northwestern in game one of the series Friday night at Pearl Field.
“We attacked the game early, which we talked about this week,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Northwestern is a scrappy team, and they will put the ball in play. It was nice to get our first hitter on, but the challenge is to continue to get players on base throughout the game, and we did not do a very good job of that tonight.”
Kaitlyn Mullarkey and Claire Fritsch led the Hawkeyes at the plate, both going 2-for-3. Angela Schmiederer, Cheyenne Pratt, and Brooke Rozier also chipped in hits. Allison Doocy suffered the loss, throwing three strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched.
The Hawkeyes took an early lead in the first inning. Pratt singled and moved to second on a Lea Thompson sacrifice bunt before Mullarkey singled through the right side to put runners on the corners. Mullarkey stole second and Pratt scored on the double steal. Rozier then used a single to left field to drive in Mullarkey.
The Wildcats (23-27, 9-12 Big Ten) drew even in the third frame, taking advantage of a Hawkeye miscue and a Marissa Panko RBI single to left field. Northwestern took the lead in the fifth inning, scoring a pair of runs on a hit and two Hawkeye errors, before extending the lead in the seventh with a Panko RBI single to shortstop.
“The good thing is we get to come back out tomorrow and face Northwestern again,” said Looper. “I feel like we match up really well with them when we take care of the ball defensively and put pressure on them offensively.
“Tonight was a beautiful night. We had a great crowd tonight and the fireworks were great. It’s our alumni game tomorrow, so it’ll be great to have those alumni back and play the game we love.”
Iowa (18-30, 8-13 Big Ten) returns to action against Northwestern on Saturday at 2 p.m. (CT) in game two of the series at Bob Pearl Field. Saturday is Alumni Day and several Hawkeye alumni will be honored at the game.