IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team fell to South Dakota State with a 4-1 decision in game one and a 5-2 decision in game two of the doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon in Iowa’s home opener at Pearl Field.
Iowa’s scoring efforts in game one were led by sophomore Lea Thompson. The sophomore scored on an RBI single up the middle off the bat of freshman Aralee Bogar.
Sophomore pitcher Allison Doocy (7-4) collected nine strikeouts 7.0 innings pitched.
In game two, the Hawkeyes struck early with a run in the bottom of the second when Daniella Ibarra’s double plated Taylor Libby. South Dakota State responded, taking a 3-1 lead in the top of the third. Senior Mallory Kilian recorded her fourth home run of the season in the bottom half of the inning, but SDSU added two runs in the seventh en route to the win.
In the circle, senior Kenzie Ihle (1-2) pitched her first complete game of the season and threw five strikeouts.
QUOTING HEAD COACH MARLA LOOPER
“We left too many runners on base in the second game. We have to take advantage of those opportunities. We had people swinging out of their shoes instead of swinging to be aggressive and drive a ball.
“It was a little disappointing after last week. It’s always challenging to come home after being on the road for more than 20 games. We faced that today, but we get to get back on the horse this weekend.
“Michigan hasn’t been to Pearl Field in years. It’s going to be nice to have them in our park. We haven’t been here, so we have to learn how to defend our park. I’m excited. Conference play is always a battle. To be the best you have to play the best and beat them, and that’s how you become them. That’s what we have to do.”
South Dakota State: 16-9
The Hawkeyes open Big Ten play against No. 19 Michigan on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) at Pearl Field. Iowa’s Big Ten opener will be aired live on BTN. Games two and three of the series are slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., respectively.