Hawkeyes Drop Series Opener To Wildcats

EVANSTON, Illinois — The University of Iowa softball team was defeated by No. 8 Northwestern, 9-5, on Friday afternoon at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.

Sophomore Denali Loecker got the start for the Hawkeyes throwing the complete game and striking out three.

Loecker was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run. The home run was her 10th of the season and 14th of her career. She is tied for fourth most single-season home runs in school history, and 18th most for career.

Sophomore Marissa Peek also notched an RBI as one of the seven different Hawkeyes to tally a hit in the game.

Friday was Iowa’s fourth contest against a ranked opponent this season.


Iowa (19-27, 2-16) scored first as Loecker sent a solo home run to left field in the first inning.

Northwestern (36-7, 16-2) scored three runs in its half of the first with a pair of home runs.

A wild pitch scored a runner from third in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend the Wildcats’ lead to three.

The Hawkeyes tied the game in the top of the fifth with three runs. Sophomore Brylee Klosterman singled, Loecker singled and Klosterman moved to third. Sophomore Zoe Schulte — running for Loecker — stole second and then Klosterman scored on a wild pitch. Junior Kalena Burns was hit-by-pitch and freshman Haley Downe came in to run for her. Both Schulte and Downe would score when sophomore Sammy Diaz reached on an error.

The Wildcats retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth with another three-run inning.

Iowa plated a run in the top of the seventh after Burns walked, junior Sophia Maras singled, sophomore Grace Banes singled but pinch runner Riley Sheehy was out at the plate. A single to right center for Peek scored a run for the Hawkeyes, but Iowa was unable to close the gap. 


“I liked the fight I saw today. Denali had a strong day at the plate for us. Sammy and Marissa were able to bring those runs in, and Kalena was able to get on base for us.” 



The Hawkeyes return to action against the No. 8 Wildcats tomorrow at 1 p.m. (CT).