Hawkeyes Split Home Opener

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team split its Tuesday doubleheader against Nebraska at Bob Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes took game one (4-2) and fell in game two (9-3).

Senior Breanna Vasquez (11-2) got the start for the Iowa in its 2023 home opener. She went six strong innings allowing two runs on five hits and struck out two. Junior Denali Loecker closed out the contest and picked up her fourth save of the season. Junior Brylee Klosterman hit her second home run of the season and scored two of Iowa’s four runs.  

Iowa used three different arms in the game two loss. Freshman Tory Bennett, Loecker, and Klosterman each had two hits in the game. 

Klosterman finished the afternoon going 3-for-5 with a walk, two RBIs, and three runs scored.  


Game 1  

The Hawkeyes got things going in the second inning as they loaded the bases with one out with Sammy Diaz stepping to the plate. Diaz delivered with a two-RBI single to give Iowa the first runs of the game. Freshman Anna Streff came through with an RBI as well to make it 3-0 after two innings of play. 

Vasquez was able to keep the Nebraska bats in check through the first four innings. She got help from an amazing grab on a hot shot to Diaz to induce an inning-ending double play. In the fifth, the Huskers were able to load the bases with no outs and seemed to be putting a rally together. Vasquez was able to get a ground out, a fly out, and a strikeout to end the inning and leave the bases loaded. 

Nebraska got on the board in the top of the sixth with a two-run home run to cut the Hawkeye advantage to one. The Hawkeyes got the run right back in the home half of the inning on a Klosterman blast to make it 4-2. Loecker entered the game in the seventh and closed out the game.  

The Hawkeyes scored four runs on five hits and two Nebraska errors.   

Game 2   

Freshman Jalen Adams got the start in the nightcap. Nebraska took an early lead as they were able to plate one run in the top of the first. Adams was able to work around baserunners in the top of the second to keep the score, 1-0. Loecker led off the bottom of the second with a single and Iowa tied the game at one on an RBI double from Klosterman.  

The Huskers took back the lead in the fourth on two home runs and an RBI single to make it, 5-1. Iowa answered right back with a lead-off home run from junior Grace Banes to make it 5-2. The Hawkeyes cut the deficit to two on an RBI from senior Nia Carter.  

Nebraska tacked on runs in the sixth and seventh innings via the long ball to put the make the score, 9-3. 

Iowa finished with three runs on nine hits and no errors. 


“Being back home in front of our fans and on our field was great, and it was a beautiful day for softball in Iowa. We did a great job defensively and came through with the clutch hits that we weren’t getting earlier in the season. Everyone did their job today against a tough Nebraska team. We would have loved to come away with two, but I am happy about where we are sitting early on in conference play.” 


“Nebraska is a good hitting team, so I had to trust my stuff and my defense in game one. I was focusing on having shutdown inning, especially once we got the lead. I wanted to stay as relaxed as possible and control my breathing and I am happy to see all of my hard work and the team’s hard work paying off.” – Vasquez 

“It felt good to be home and in front of our fans. We appreciate all the fans that come out and it creates an exciting and fun environment to play in. Me, being from here it’s special to play in front of family and friends.” -Klosterman 


  • The Hawkeyes have matched their conference win total from a year ago through five games in 2023.
  • Loecker is ranked second in single-season history for saves (4).


Iowa (21-13, 3-2) returns to action on Friday for its first home weekend series at Pearl Field. They will face No. 20 Northwestern in a three-game series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT). All games with be broadcast on B1G+ and Hawkeye Sports Radio.