Schneider Homers, Hawkeyes Fall at Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill.  – The University of Iowa softball team dropped a 9-7 decision to Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Eichelberger Field. The Illini secured the 3-0 Big Ten series sweep with the win.
The Illini jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Hawkeyes responded in the top of the second. Senior Angela Schmiederer and sophomore Taylor Libby were standing on first and second when sophomore McKenzie Schneider sent her fourth homer of the season over the left field wall.
The Hawkeyes carried the 3-1 advantage into the third before the Illini used six hits to plate eight runs and retake the lead.
The Hawkeyes battled in the fifth and seventh innings. Senior Cheyenne Pratt and sophomore Lea Thompson led off the fifth with a walk and a single, and senior Mallory Kilian came through with a RBI single to bring the Hawkeyes within four, 9-5.
Iowa rallied in the seventh, plating runs from Thompson and Kilian, but the Illini thwarted the rally and escaped with a 9-7 win.
Sophomore Lauren Shaw (3-11) took the loss in the circle. She allowed four earned runs on six hits and struck out three in 2.2 innings. Erin Riding came in as relief for the Hawkeyes and kept the Illini from collecting any more earned runs in the contest.

“Our offense did a nice job of continuing to battle today. Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a hole by not being able to play defense. We shouldn’t have as many errors as we do hits. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I’m proud that the offense was able to bear down and stay in the game but we have to keep fighting.”
Iowa: 19-25, 5-11
Illinois: 30-15, 9-6
The Hawkeyes travel to Ames, Iowa, for a midweek matchup with in-state foe Iowa State. The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup is Wednesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. (CT).