CLEARWATER, Fla. — The University of Iowa softball team split action on Saturday on day two of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Hawkeyes won game one against North Carolina Central (NCCU), 4-1, before falling Notre Dame, 5-4, in the night cap.
Iowa freshmen Jaylee Ojo and Andrea Jaskowiak made their first appearances in the black in gold in against NCCU. Ojo got the start for the Hawkeyes and allowed no runs on no hits and struck out three Eagle hitter. Jaskowiak entered in relief and picked up the win going 4.2 innings allowing one run on four hits and struck out three. Junior Haley Downe also made her pitching debut for Iowa and picked up the save.
Sophomore Jalen Adams got the ball in game two and went five innings allowing two earned runs on six hits and struck out one Notre Dame hitter.
Freshman Soo-JIn Berry led the way offensively going 4-for-7 on the day with three RBIs and one run scored.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Senior Grace Banes started the game strong with a leadoff double to left center. Berry followed suit and was able to drive in Baness with a single to center to give Iowa the early lead. Ojo was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first as catcher Skylinn Pogue picked off the runner at third to end the threat.
Iowa was able to knock in another runner in the second on a sac fly from Banes to extend their lead, 2-0. Ojo found her rhythm and took down the first two Eagle hitters swinging. Jaskowiak took over for Ojo in the circle with one runner on and needed just one pitch to end the inning.
Junior Rylie Moss got things going the fifth inning as she reached base on an error and moved into scoring position after a steal and a wild pitch. Berry blasted a two out RBI triple to straight away center to score Moss to give the Hawkeyes a three-run lead. Jaskowiak retired the NCCU hitters in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Eagles rallied in the bottom of seventh to make it 4-1 as Iowa made a change in the circle. Downe entered and got two quick outs to secure the, 4-1, victory.
Iowa finished the game with four runs on seven hits with no errors. The Eagles were held to one run on four hits and had one error.
Iowa kept the momentum going to start game two against Notre Dame as the first three batters reached base. Senior Brylee Klosterman brought home the first run of the game on an RBI single through the left side to score Banes. Freshman Devin Bowman cashed in two more runs on an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0. Notre Dame responded in the home half of the inning as two runs crossed home after a throwing error by Berry.
The Hawkeyes were able to loaded the bases in the top of the third with back-to-back singles and a walk. Freshman Jenna Young extended the Iowa lead to two with a sac fly, scoring sophomore Tory Bennett from third. The Irish answered in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to make it, 4-3, Iowa.
The Hawkeyes made a pitching change to start the sixth inning that ended up opening the door for the Irish. Junior Devyn Greer entered the game in relief of Adams. Notre Dame loaded the bases after two walks and a single. The Irish took the lead, 5-4, after a wild pitch and an error plated two runs. Notre Dame shut the door on Iowa in the top of the seventh to close out the game.
The Hawkeyes finished the game with four runs on seven hits with two errors.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“There were a lot of positive things that we saw in the games today. Unfortunately we were not able to close out the second game, but I know that are going to come out ready to play tomorrow morning as we look to close out the weekend on a high note.”
- Freshmen Ojo and Jaskowiak made their collegiate debuts in game one.
- Junior Downe made her pitching debut for the Hawkeyes and recorded a save against the Eagles.
- Iowa has started the season 3-1 for the third straight season.
The Hawkeyes close out the NFCA Leadoff Classic Sunday morning as they take on 13th-ranked Utah at 9 a.m. (CT). The game will be streamed live on the GameChanger app and broadcasted on the Hawkeye Radio Network.