CALEDONIA, Mich. — The University of Iowa softball team dominated Michigan State, 14-2, in an offensive explosion in game one of series on Friday.
Senior Breanna Vasquez (12-3) got her 16th start of the season. She went five innings allowing two runs on four hits and struck out five.
Every Hawkeye starter recorded a hit. Senior Nia Carter led the way going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBIs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes were able to load the bases with one out in the second inning. Carter came through with a single up the middle to give Iowa an early 2-0 lead. The Hawkeyes plated two more in the frame to extend their advantage to 4-0. In the bottom of the inning, the Spartans got two, two-out baserunners but a big strikeout from Vasquez stranded them both to silence the threat.
Iowa loaded the bases again in the top of the third and Carter came through for a second time with an RBI single to extend the lead to five runs. Sophomore Tatianna Roman put the ball in play to force a Spartan error as three more Hawkeyes came home to make it 8-0. Freshman Tory Bennett followed that up with a double to the wall to plate another run.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans got back-to-back hits to put runners on the corners with one out. They got their first run on a sac fly to make it 9-1 and followed that up with an RBI single to cut the Iowa lead to seven and prevent the run-rule.
Sophomore Devyn Greer entered the game in relief in the sixth inning. She retired the Spartans in order in her first inning of work. Red-hot Carter picked up her fourth and fifth RBIs on a double to left center to extend Iowa’s lead to 11-2 in the top of the seventh. Iowa picked up three more runs on RBIs from junior Grace Banes, Diaz, and sophomore Tristan Doster to make it 14-2.
Greer shut Michigan State down in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa finished the contest with 14 runs on 15 hits. The Spartans had seven errors.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“It was great to see one through nine in our lineup contribute with a hit. We would have loved to end it in the fifth to really have a statement win in conference, but I am proud of how we continued to pile on the runs. One thing we have been lacking is coming through with the clutch hits with runners on, and we were able to get those today.
HEAR FROM NIA CARTER
“It was important for us to score runs when we had the opportunity with runners on. I came up in a few situations with runners in scoring position today, so I wanted to keep it simple and put the ball in play to make things happen. We rallied together as a team offensively today and that is what we need to keep doing moving into Sunday.”
- Vasquez set a new career-high for wins (12).
- Carter had a career-high five RBIs.
- Iowa had a season-high 14 runs.
Iowa (22-14, 4-3) returns to action on Sunday for a doubleheader against Michigan State. The games will be played at the Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex in Caledonia, Michigan. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CT).