BOCA RATON, Fla. – The University of Iowa softball team shutout Stony Brook, 5-0, on Sunday at the FAU Paradise Classic.
Fifth-year senior Breanna Vasquez threw six innings of shutout softball allowing just one hit and striking out six. Sophomore Emma Henderson made her season debut in the circle to close out the game in the seventh.
The Hawkeye bats were hot, recording 13 hits. Freshmen Echo Mattiello and Tory Bennett led the way recording three hits and two RBIs, respectively.
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the bottom of the first inning, Bennett made an amazing diving catch in the five-six hole for the second out.
The Hawkeyes had a patient eye in the third to load the bases with three walks. Senior Denali Loecker came through with an RBI single to plate the first run of the game. Vasquez was able to keep the Seawolves off the bases in the third frame to keep the game at 1-0 Iowa midway through the game.
In the fourth, Stony Brook was able to get two runners into scoring position, but the Hawkeye defense held strong to maintain their lead. Iowa came out swinging in the fifth with singles from Mattiello and sophomore Tatianna Roman. Bennett came to the plate with runners on second and third and delivered a two RBI double to left field to stretch Iowa’s lead to 3-0. Bennett came around to score on a single from junior Sammy Diaz. Vasquez struck out the Seawolves in order in the home half of the fifth.
Henderson started the seventh with a pinch-hit single through the left side and junior Grace Banes followed with a double to left. The Hawkeyes loaded the bases and scored their fifth run on a sac fly off the bat of freshman Avery Jackson.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“We are heading home with four wins. I think that is a pretty good opening weekend. We showed out in every aspect of the game this weekend. We have good momentum going into the ACC/Big Ten Challenge next weekend.”
HEAR FROM BREANNA VASQUEZ
“I really have to shoutout the offense and defense, they were lights out and I knew they had my back, so it gave me the confidence! I was feeling good, and all pitchers did a phenomenal job this weekend. This was a great weekend for us, and everyone showed out! It was a great opening start and we really locked in and had fun. It was good competition and good softball all around.”
- Mattiello (.545) and Bennett (.471) lead the team in hitting after the opening weekend.
- Eight Hawkeyes started all five games with six of them hitting over .300 on the weekend.
- The pitching staff finished the weekend with a 0.61 ERA and striking out 16 batters.
- Iowa closed out the FAU Paradise Classic going 4-1 on the weekend.
The Hawkeyes travel to N.C. State for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Raleigh, North Carolina. Iowa is set to play the Wolfpack on Friday. First pitch in Dail Softball Stadium is set for 2 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed on ACCNX (Subscription required).