RALEIGH, N.C. — The University of Iowa softball team defeated Syracuse 7-0 and then fell to NC State, 3-1 (8 innings) in day two the ACC/B1G Challenge at Dail Softball Stadium.
Freshman Jalen Adams got the start in the circle for the Hawkeyes in game one versus the Orange. She was masterful throwing a complete game, yielding no runs on four hits and striking out four. Senior Breanna Vasquez got the start in game two and went the full eight innings allowing three runs on five hits and striking out six.
Offensively, Iowa was led by freshman Tory Bennett, who went 3-for-6 with one RBI on the day. Four Hawkeyes recorded a hit in both games of the doubleheader. In game one, senior Nia Carter went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Adams came out and made quick work of the Orange in the first inning. She retired Syracuse in order on just four pitches. The Hawkeyes once again came out ready to go and put up three runs in the home half of the first. Carter led off with a walk, followed by an infield single from sophomore Tatianna Roman. Carter came around to score on an RBI double from Bennett. Two Hawkeyes came home when red-hot Denali Locker sent a single to the outfield to make it, 3-0.
Syracuse was threatening in the top of the second, but multiple diving plays by Bennett at shortstop kept the Orange off the scoreboard. Adams sat the Orange down in order in the third, getting a fly out and then back-to-back strike outs.
Syracuse got its first hits in the fourth inning, but Adams stranded both runners to keep the Iowa lead at three. The Hawkeyes were able to extend their lead in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Avery Jackson came around to score on an RBI double off the bat of Carter. Iowa left them loaded and headed to the fifth frame with a 4-0 advantage.
The Iowa bats stayed hot in the fifth, plating three insurance runs to extend its lead to 7-0. Jackson had an RBI triple down the right field line to score two. Another runner came home on an RBI ground out from freshman Echo Mattiello.
Adams was efficient again in the sixth, getting Syracuse to go three-up, three-down. The Orange was able to get two runners on in the seventh, but Adams slammed the door with two strikeouts to end the game.
Iowa was the designated home team against NC State. Vasquez got two quick outs but surrendered a solo homerun to the Wolfpack three-hole hitter. Bennett extended her hit streak to eight games with a two-out sign in the bottom of the first.
In the home half of the second, the Hawkeyes were able to barrel up some balls but they were right of the defense. Freshmen Skylinn Pogue and Mattiello got things started in the third with consecutive singles to start the inning. Both runners were stranded in scoring position as the Hawkeyes could not capitalize.
The Wolfpack were threatening again in the top of the fourth with runners on second and third with one out. Vasquez got the NC State batter to ground it to Jackson on third who stepped on third and fired across the diamond to complete an inning-ending double play. Loecker continued to swing a hot bat and led off the bottom of the fourth with a game-tying solo blast to left center.
Vasquez sat NC State down in order in the top of the sixth. Junior Grace Banes lined a single to right field but was stranded to end the sixth inning.
The Wolfpack went quietly in the top of the seventh. Mattiello sent a single into right with one out attempting to ignite a rally for Iowa. She was tagged out on a fielder’s choice by Carter but heads-up base running allowed Carter to get to second on an error. The Wolfpack were able to get out of the inning and send it into extras.
In the top of the eighth, NC State was able to load the bases with two outs. The Wolfpack pitcher came through with a two-RBI single to left field to take a 3-1 lead. Bennett got on board with an infield single to start of the home part of the eighth, but Iowa was not able to get any runs across to extend the game.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“In game one, we were swinging the bats aggressively and got a lot of run production. Jalen threw an amazing game. In the second game, we hit the ball, but we weren’t able to string hits together to make something happen. I am looking forward to seeing how we close out the weekend tomorrow.”
- Iowa’s two losses this season have both come in extra innings.
- Iowa pitchers have recorded shut outs in four of its eight games to start the year.
- Bennett has recorded a hit in all eight games this season.
- Loecker accounts for all of the teams’ home runs (3).
- The Hawkeyes did not get retired in order at all in game one.
Iowa (6-2) returns to action tomorrow in the final day of the ACC/B1G Challenge. The Hawkeyes will face Syracuse for the second time. First pitch at Dail Softball Stadium is scheduled for 9 a.m. (CT).