IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa softball team defeated Illinois, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at Bob Pearl Field. With the win the Hawkeyes finish the regular season fourth in the Big Ten, their highest finish since 2012.
Senior pitcher Lauren Shaw got the win, throwing four innings and striking out four. Allison Doocy got the save pitching three frames in relief, including a strikeout on her riseball with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning.
“We were trusting our pitch calling and going after them with our best,” said Doocy. “That is what was called on that pitch and I was going to trust it and make sure I put it out of the zone to see if she would fish for it. Ultimately, she did, and it was awesome to get out of that jam.”
Freshman Marissa Peek was 1-for-2 and had a two RBI for the Hawkeyes.
Freshman Grace Banes hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Hawkeyes a lead they would never relinquish.
“Doocy and Lauren pitched great games so to come out and back them up with a clutch hit was really good,” said Banes. “We have been playing with confidence, believing in each other and knowing that we can win.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Illinois struck first scoring a run in the first inning after an error by the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes responded with a two-run inning in their half of the first. Brylee Klosterman walked, Riley Sheehy singled and Peek brought them both home with a single.
Illinois tallied two runs in the third inning after a series of singles.
The Hawkeyes would take the lead for good in the fourth inning after Nia Carter singled and scored when Banes sent one over the fence to dead center.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“I am so proud of the seniors for stepping up. Doocy and Shaw had this game the whole way. We knew we wanted to start with Shaw and have Doocy as a backup. Just getting their confidence up, telling them this is a celebration, and we wanted them to come out and see it as a celebration and not just the end of their careers. They had so much energy today it was fun to watch.”
- Iowa has won 10 of its last 12 games.
- The Hawkeyes finish the season fourth in the Big Ten; the highest finish since the 2012 team finished in second.
- The Hawkeyes improved to 9-3 in Sunday games on the season.
- It was the seventh series victory on the season for the Hawkeyes.
The 2021 NCAA Softball Tournament field will be announced tonight at 8 pm CT on ESPN2.