CLEARWATER, Fla. – The University of Iowa softball team fell to 13th-ranked Utah, 3-1, on Sunday morning to close out the NFCA Leadoff Classic at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
Sophomore Jalen Adams (1-1) got the start for the Hawkeyes. She gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out one Utah hitter.
Freshman Soo-Jin Berry was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team after collecting hits in four out of five games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Utes threatened in the bottom of the first getting runners on the corners with two outs. Adams was able to strand both, getting a ground out to third base to end the inning. Senior Brylee Klosterman had a leadoff single to start the second inning but wasn’t able to make it past second base.
Utah struck first in the bottom of the second after their leadoff batter reached on a double and came around on an RBI single to make it 1-0. Freshman Jena Young and Klosterman made back-to-back diving grabs to get the Hawkeyes out of the inning. Iowa was able to get runners on to start the third but some key defensive plays for the Utes kept the Hawkeyes off the board.
— Iowa Softball (@iowasoftball) February 11, 2024
Junior Rylie Moss went over the right field fence to rob a home run for the first out of the home half of the third. The Utes threatened again the start the fourth as they had runners on first and third with no outs. Iowa caught a break as a Utah hitter was called out for being out of the box on a play where a run came home. The Utes continued to utilize the small ball as a run came home a squeeze bunt to make it 2-0.
Iowa caught some momentum in fifth as sophomore Anna Streff and Moss reached base with two outs but were unable to cash in as the top half of the inning ended. Adams escaped a jam in the bottom of the fifth to keep the score, 2-0, Utah heading into the sixth.
Berry continued to swing a hot bat as she drove a one-out double to left center. She came around to score on a ball put in play by freshman Devin Bowman to cut the deficit to one. Utah pushed their lead back to two on an RBI single to make it, 3-1, heading into the seventh. Iowa was retired in order in the top of the seventh to finish the game.
The Hawkeyes finished the game one run on four hits and had one error.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“There were a lot of great takeaways from this opening weekend. We played a really good Utah team to close out the tournament and if we clean up a few things on defense it’s a different ball game. This is just the beginning for team 46 and I am looking forward to what is to come the rest of the season.”
- Freshmen Berry (.438) and Young (.364) lead the team in hitting after the opening weekend.
- Seven Hawkeyes started all five games with four of them hitting over .300 on the weekend.
- The pitching staff finished the weekend with a 1.35 ERA and struck out 14 batters.
- Iowa closed out the NFCA Leadoff Classic going 3-2 on the weekend.
The Hawkeyes will return to action on Friday Feb. 16 at The Spring Games in Leesburg, Fla. Iowa will face Southern Illinois and Liberty on Friday with action beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT. Games will be streamed live on FloSoftball (subscription required) and be broadcasted on the Hawkeye Radio Network.