IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa softball team completed a 9-8 comeback win over the Minnesota Gophers at Bob Pearl Field on Friday afternoon behind junior Kalena Burns’ two-out, three-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth.
The Hawkeyes (18-16, 1-6) rallied all the way back from an 8-2 deficit to complete the comeback win over the Gophers (15-13-1, 3-4).
Sophomore Denali Loecker got the start in the circle for the Hawkeyes. Freshman Devyn Greer came in and threw 5.1 innings of two-hit relief to notch the win.
Burns was 2-for-3 on the afternoon with two homeruns and five RBI to lead the Hawkeyes. Sophomore Nia Carter was 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Freshman Tristin Doster and Sophomore Brylee Klosterman had two RBIs and one RBI, respectively.
“I was just trying to have fun and do anything I could do to put us ahead,” said Burns. “After the first homerun momentum switched. Obviously then we went down, but we definitely got momentum going again after that second homerun.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Iowa scored two runs in the bottom half of the first to get things rolling. Carter singled to left field and Burns hit her first home run of the game.
A big second inning for the Gophers saw them plate eight runs on eight hits and take a six-run lead.
The Hawkeyes began chipping away at the Gopher lead in the bottom half of the second, scoring two runs on one hit and three errors. Senior Riley Sheehy reached on an error by the second baseman, sophomore Grace Banes laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her over, junior Sophia Maras walked, and Klosterman singled through the left side to score a run. Doster reached on an error by the shortstop to plate Iowa’s second run of the game.
Iowa added another run in the fifth after Carter singled with a bunt, Doster singled to center field, Burns moved them over with a sacrifice bunt and Loecker singled up the middle.
A four-run sixth inning was just what the Hawkeyes needed to complete their comeback. Maras drew a leadoff walk, Klosterman singled up the middle, and Carter drew a walk following a 12-pitch at bat. Doster grounded out and scored Carter from third. With two down and two strikes, Burns belted a three-run bomb to put the Hawkeyes back on top.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“After giving up eight runs in that second inning, we could have easily folded, but they had the fight in them. Kalena was huge today with two homeruns and all five RBIs. The top-five in our lineup came up huge today.
Devyn was fantastic today. She brought a ton of energy to us, and the defense played hard behind her. She did an incredible job and only gave up two hits. Her energy and desire to go at those batters was the difference in that game.”
- This was the first multi-home run game of Burns’ career. Her home runs were number two and three on the season for her.
- Five RBIs is a career high for Burns.
- The all-time series with Minnesota is tied, 61-61.
The Hawkeyes continue the series with the Gophers at 2 p.m. (CT) tomorrow.