RALEIGH, N.C. — The University of Iowa softball team fell to Syracuse, 11-4, in the final day of the ACC/B1G Challenge at Dail Softball Stadium.
Sophomore Katherine Serna made her first start of the season in the circle for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes were led by junior Sammy Diaz who went 3-for-3 with a homerun and was responsible for all four of Iowa’s RBIs.
Iowa finished the weekend 2-2 in the Challenge.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes started the game strong with back-to-back singles from senior Nia Carter and sophomore Tatianna Roman. They were unable to capitalize and left them stranded as the next three Iowa hitters were retired. Serna got consecutive strikeouts to open the home half of the first inning. After allowing a walk, she came back to get the fourth Orange batter looking on strikes to end the frame.
Iowa was able to get singles in both the second and third innings but was unable to bring them around.
In the bottom of the third, the Orange got their first hit and was able to load the bases with no outs. Syracuse took a 2-0 lead as sophomore Devyn Greer entered the game in the relief. The Orange extended their lead to five, on a three-run homerun. Syracuse sent nine hitters to the plate before Iowa was able to record an out as the Orange took the 7-0 lead into the fourth inning.
The Hawkeyes scored in the fourth inning, as Diaz sent a ball down the leftfield line for her first career homerun to make it 7-2. The Orange got one run back in the home half in the fourth to make it 8-2. Senior Breanna Vasquez took over in the circle for Iowa in the fourth inning.
In the fifth, the Hawkeyes were able to load the bases with one out. Diaz came through again for Iowa with a two-RBI single up the middle to cut the deficit to four, 8-4. The Orange answered back in the bottom half, plating three runs.
The Hawkeyes (6-3) return to action on Friday Feb. 24, at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, California. They will face Bethune-Cookman and No. 2 UCLA at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. (CT), respectively, on Friday.