CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Iowa softball team fell to top-seeded and 19th-ranked Northwestern (3-1) on Thursday at Eichelberger Field in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Senior Breanna Vasquez made her 27th start of the season in the circle. She ended up going 3.1 innings allowing three runs on five hits and striking out four Wildcat hitters. Freshman Jalen Adams made a relief appearance allowing no runs on no hits in 2.2 innings of work. Senior Nia Carter led the Hawkeyes at the plate going 2-for-4 and scored their lone run.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams were able to get a runner on in the first inning, but neither was able to score. In the top of the second, juniors Grace Banes and Sammy Diaz reached base to start the inning. They were able to get into scoring position with two outs but were unable to score the first run of the game. Sophomore Tatianna Roman made an excellent play at the wall for out one of the home half of the frame. The Wildcats got on the board after a double and RBI single to take the early 1-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes had Roman and freshman Tory Bennett reach on singles in the top of the third, but both were left stranded. Northwestern got two runners in scoring position with no outs in the fourth inning. They extended their lead to three on a two-RBI triple. Adams entered in relief of Vasquez with one out in the fourth.
Iowa started the fifth strong as they were able to load the bases with one out. Banes drew a walk to get the Hawkeyes on the board. The bases were left loaded as the top of the inning came to a close. Carter led off the top of the seventh with a single up the middle and made it to third with one out. Unfortunately, Iowa was unable to capitalize with the tying run at the plate.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“Our freshmen came in and bought into the culture we are creating. That in and of itself is one of the reasons we were able to see so much success this season. We are looking forward to what this young team is able to do in years to come. I can’t say enough about our seniors, and what they have done for this program. Nia and Bre are both impact players and we have seen that all season long. We are going to miss their presence on and off the field.”
HEAR FROM THE STUDENT-ATHLETES
“It’s crazy to think about my four years in an Iowa uniform. My mom always says to leave a legacy and I hope that I have done that. I will forever be proud to be a Hawkeye.” – Carter
“One of the biggest things I have learned this season is that being confident in myself will make me play 100 times better. I am super excited for the coming years because I know we are going to put Iowa softball on the map.” – Bennett
- Iowa finishes the 2023 season with a 31-27 record.
- Iowa’s 31 wins are the most wins in a season since 2009.
- Carter finishes the season with a school single season record 95 hits.