BOCA RATON, Fla. — The University of Iowa softball team split its two games Saturday at the FAU Paradise Classic, upsetting No. 23 Mississippi State, 2-0, before falling to Florida Atlantic, 4-3, in extra innings.
Sophomore Devyn Greer got the start in game one, where she gave up four hits while striking out three over 4 1/3 innings. Freshman Jalen Adams earned the save, tossing 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief.
In the night cap, the Hawkeyes used three different arms and allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out five.
The freshman duo of Tory Bennett and Avery Jackson recorded six of Iowa’s 14 hits on the day and each had an RBI.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Freshman catcher Skylinn Pogue shut down the Bulldogs’ chances early with a strike them out, throw them out in the first. Iowa was able to get runners on in the first two innings but left them stranded.
In the third, Mississippi State threatened with runners on first and third, but the Hawkeyes got out of the inning unscathed. Iowa came out swinging in the home half of the third with freshman Echo Mattiello and senior Nia Carter getting back-to-back singles to open the inning. Junior Denali Loecker had an infield single to plate Carter and another run crossed on a throwing error to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs threatened once again in the fourth, getting their first two hitters on, but a double play ended the threat. Adams came in in relief in the fifth with runners on and she shut the door, stranding two runners on base.
Loecker had a strong start in the circle, getting FAU to go three up, three down in the first. The Hawkeyes got the offense going in the second when juniors Grace Banes and Sammy Diaz got on base and Banes scored on an RBI single off the bat of Mattiello. In the bottom of the inning, the Owls reached on a leadoff double, but Carter made an amazing diving catch in right field to end the inning.
FAU had three singles in the home half of the third to tie the game at one and sophomore Katherine Serna entered in relief. The Owls plated another run on a squeeze bunt to take the 2-1 lead. Serna ended the threat with a strike out with the bases loaded.
The Owls advanced a runner to third base in the fourth, and Adams entered the circle with two outs. She shut the door with a strike out to end the inning. The Hawkeyes tied the game in the top half of the fifth when Tatianna Roman scored on an RBI single from Bennett.
Adams did everything herself in the home half of the sixth, recording two strike outs and a putout to sit the Owls down in order. Iowa had its chance to take the lead in the seventh, but had the go-ahead run tagged out in a run down between third and home. FAU got its lead off runner on, but Adams once again shut the door to send the game into extra innings.
Banes started the inning on second base due to international tie breaker rules. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third and Jackson brought her home on an RBI single to centerfield, giving the Hawkeyes a 3-2 lead. FAU tied the game in the bottom half on a sac fly in foul territory and the Owls handed Iowa its first loss with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“The first win today was big for us as a team. We were so close in the second game, and just need to find a way to come out on top in those close ones. I am happy with the performances from our pitchers this early on.”
HEAR FROM DEVYN GREER
“This game was a huge team win on and off the field. Everyone did their part, and Skylinn behind the dish was a key part of this game. Coach Gardner, Sky and I worked well together this game. I think this team will make a lot of noise the rest of the season moving forward. Also, big shout out to Jalen coming in. This was a huge win under our belts.”
- The is Iowa’s first win against a ranked team since Feb. 11, 2022
- Pogue has thrown out four runners stealing through her first four games.
- Adams recorded her first career save.
The Hawkeyes close out the FAU Paradise Classic on Sunday, facing Stony Brook at 8 a.m. (CT). The game will be streamed on FloSoftball (subscription required).