MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Freshman Kalena Burns propelled Iowa on Friday at the Spring Games, hitting a walk-off home run in the eighth inning to lift the University of Iowa softball team (15-5) over Loyola Chicago, 3-1. In Iowa’s next game against South Dakota State, Burns went 4-for-4 at the plate, but the Hawkeyes fell to the Jackrabbits, 8-2.
In the first game, the Hawkeyes were paced by Burns, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs against Loyola-Chicago. Freshman Nia Carter starred as well, going 2-for-2 with a walk. Junior Aralee Bogar also chipped in for Iowa, putting together two hits in four trips to the plate.
Junior Lauren Shaw (9-2) started in the circle and picked up the win for Iowa. The left-hander went eight innings, giving up one run on seven hits, allowing no walks and striking out two.
Senior DoniRae Mayhew (1-2) took the loss in the circle for Iowa against South Dakota State. In addition to her four hits, Burns had a home run and two RBIs to lead the Hawkeyes in game two.
HEAR FROM KALENA BURNS ON HER WALK-OFF
“I knew the situation I was going into in the eighth inning against Loyola. I wanted to be successful for my team. Having my teammates cheering loud in the dugout was a key factor to my confidence at the plate. As I was rounding home third, seeing them happy made me even happier. I’m really proud of how we persevered and found a way to win.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes put runs on the scoreboard first, starting the scoring in the third inning. Mia Ruther singled to center and then stole second. Up next, Nia Carter singled to left, pushing Ruther to third. Kalena Burns followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Ruther and advancing Carter to third.
Iowa remained scoreless until the eighth.
Loyola Chicago then rallied to tie the ballgame at 1-1 in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.
Iowa walked it off in the bottom of the eighth on Burns’ one-out two-run home run off Loyola Chicago’s Veres.
» Iowa’s highest scoring inning was the eighth, when it pushed two runs across.
» The Hawkeyes out-hit the Ramblers at a 9-7 clip.
» Iowa went 3-for-8 (.375) with runners in scoring position.
» Shaw limited Loyola Chicago to just 1-for-9 (.111) with runners in scoring position.
» Shaw faced 28 Loyola Chicago hitters in the game, allowing 17 ground balls and two fly balls while striking out two.
» Burns led the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
The Hawkeyes got on the scoreboard in the third inning. Junior Mia Ruther reached first on a Jackrabbit error and then stole second. Nia Carter grounded out to shortstop, moving Ruther to third with two outs. On the next play, Burns left the yard, putting Iowa up 2-0, for her fourth homerun of the season.
The Hawkeyes were unable to hold the lead, as South Dakota State scored eight times over the remaining four innings to grab the 8-2 win.
» Burns put together a four-hit day for the Hawkeyes.
» Iowa’s highest scoring inning was the third, when it pushed two runs across.
» Iowa left 10 runners stranded on base in the loss.
» Iowa pitchers faced 31 South Dakota State hitters in the game, allowing seven ground balls and seven fly balls while striking out four.
» Burns led the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Next up for Iowa is a second doubleheader tomorrow at 1(CT) and 6 p.m. against Central Michigan and Ohio. Both games will be streamed on FloSoftball (Subscription required).