CONWAY, Ark. – The University of Iowa softball team split the opening day of the Adam Brown Memorial Shamrock Classic, falling to South Dakota (6-4) before run-ruling Alcorn State (9-1) in six innings in game two.
In game one, Iowa used the arms of sophomore Devyn Greer and junior Denali Loecker in the circle. Loecker had three RBIs in the contest on a three-run home run.
Senior Breanna Vasquez got the start for the Hawkeyes in game two. She went five innings allowing one run on one hit while striking out a season-high nine batters.
Sophomore Tatianna Roman had herself a day, combining for 4-for-7 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
HOW IT HAPPENED
In the bottom of the first, the Coyotes were able to get two runners on, but sophomore Devyn Greer stranded them at first and second. In the top of the second, junior Grace Banes had a two-out triple off the left field fence but was stranded to end the inning.
South Dakota struck first in the second with an RBI triple and a three-run homerun to take the, 4-0, lead. The Coyotes’ bats stayed hot as they were able to tack on another run in the third to make it 5-0. Junior Denali Loecker entered the game in relief and was able to get a strikeout to end a base-loaded threat.
Loecker got back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth to strand a runner at second. Senior Nia Carter led off the sixth with an infield single and came around to score on an RBI double from Roman to get Iowa on the board. Freshman Tory Bennett reached on her second infield single to put two runners on for Loecker. Loecker put a charge into one as she sent it over the fence in straight away centerfield for a three-run blast to cut the Hawkeye deficit to one.
In the home half of the sixth, the Coyotes were able to get a run back to make it 6-4, which ultimately was the final score.
Iowa finished the game with four runs on seven hits with one error.
Alcorn State got on the board first as a run came around on a sacrifice fly to centerfield in the top of the second. Banes led off the home half of the second with a walk and freshman Skylinn Pogue followed that up with a two-run home run over the left field fence to give Iowa the, 2-1, lead.
Vasquez sat the Braves down in order in both the third and fourth innings. The Hawkeye bats came to life in the fourth as Banes and Pogue led off with back-to-back singles. Both came around to score on an Alcorn State throwing error to make it, 4-1. Freshman Echo Mattiello crossed home to make it, 5-1, on an RBI single from Carter. A Roman and Diaz single pushed the Iowa advantage to six. And Iowa’s sixth run of the inning crossed home plate on an RBI ground out from freshman Avery Jackson, to give the Hawkeyes eight runs.
Sophomore Emma Henderson entered the circle in the sixth for Iowa and got the Braves to go three-up, three-down. Roman led off the sixth inning with her third hit of the game and Bennett followed that with her third walk. Loecker came through with the clutch hit once again for the Hawkeyes sending an RBI single to right field to score Roman and end the game in run-rule fashion.
Iowa finished the contest with nine runs on 10 hits and one error. Pogue went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and two runs scored.
HEAR FROM SKYLINN POGUE
“My mindset going in was to just keep the momentum going and find a way to get on. When I hit the ball I was super happy that I was able to do my job to help the team, and it was also super fulfilling to see my hard work pay off. It was a moment that I’ve dreamed about coming true for years and for it to have actually happened is so exciting for me. My mom was able to be at the game which made it even more special.”
- After allowing a run to Alcorn State in the second inning, Iowa scored nine straight runs to post its third run-rule victory of the young season.
- Loecker has a team-leading five home runs on the season.
- Pogue’s home run in game two was the first of her career.
- Loecker has provided both of Iowa’s walk-off hits this season.
- This was Iowa’s first ever match up against Alcorn State.
- Carter has recorded a hit in 13 of Iowa’s games this season.
Iowa (9-7) returns to action tomorrow for day two of the Adam Brown Memorial Shamrock Classic. The Hawkeyes will face host, Central Arkansas, and Omaha at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. CT, respectively. The game against Central Arkansas will be streamed on ESPN+ (subscription required).