IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa softball team fell to Northern Iowa (4-2) on Wednesday afternoon in its home finale at Bob Pear Field.
Junior Denali Loecker got the start in the circle for the Hawkeyes. In just her third start of the season she retired the first nine batters in order to start the game but was unable to get out of the fourth inning. Freshman Jalen Adams came in in relief and allowed no runs on two hits in 3.1 innings of work.
Senior Nia Carter and sophomore Tristin Doster both went 2-for-3 on the afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes got two runners on in the first on back-to-back hit by pitches, but both were stranded as the first inning ended. Freshman Tory Bennett led off the bottom of the second with a single and got to third on a Panther error. She came home on an RBI ground out from junior Grace Banes to give the Hawkeyes an early 1-0 lead.
Loecker was perfect the first time through the UNI lineup. The Panthers got two singles in the fourth to get runners at the corners with one out. A solid defensive play from freshman Avery Jackson cut down the UNI runner at home for the second out of the inning. The Panthers rallied with two outs with three straight doubles to take the lead, 4-1. Adams entered in relief with two outs and a runner on second in the top of the fourth.
Iowa got one back in the home half of the fourth taking advantage of two UNI errors to make it 4-2. In the fifth and sixth innings the Hawkeyes got one runner on in each frame but were unable to capitalize. Adams held the UNI hitters in check in her ninth relief appearance of the season. In the bottom of the seventh Iowa got two runners on with two outs but Loecker had a long fly out to left to end the game.
The Hawkeyes finished with two runs on seven hits in the game.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“We had a lot of great opportunities to score today, and we were unable to capitalize in those situations. Denali threw really well to start the game, and unfortunately, we left her in there too long, and that is on us as a staff. I want to thank our fans for coming out and being loud this whole season. We don’t play too many home games, but our fans make the most of it.”
- Carter (89) is five hits away from breaking the single season hit record at Iowa.
- The Hawkeyes are 24-6 when scoring first.
Iowa (30-23) returns to action on Friday as they head to Madison, Wisconsin, to face Wisconsin (24-19) in the final Big Ten series of the season. First pitch at Goodman Softball Complex is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and the Hawkeye Radio Network.