The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Softball rallies late

Iowa catcher Holly Hoffman throws down to second base at Pearl Field on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The Hawkeyes lost to UNI in a close game 9-8. (The Daily Iowan/Valerie Burke)


Junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey stepped up to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning with a lot on her mind.

The Hawkeyes were tied with Drake at 7, the bases were loaded with one out, and Mullarkey faced a 2-1 count.

She hit a sharp grounder to first base, and junior Erin Erickson rushed to home plate to give Iowa a walk-off 8-7 win. The players ran from the dugout, and everyone left on base ran to join the group celebrating Iowa’s 11th win of the season.

Mullarkey’s performance wasn’t the only thing that got fans pumped, though.

“Everyone put in a lot of effort into the game,” she said. “Everyone got on base and did her job in the last inning. The score was tied, we just needed to get a hard hit, get that runner in, so I was just trying to hit the ball hard.”

“I just did what I was supposed to do.”

In the bottom of the seventh, the Hawkeyes were trailing by two, 4-2, with two outs.

Mullarkey then calmly hit a home run to center left that sent the ball game into extra innings.

“Claire [Fritsch] got a grounder through that girl’s legs, and I said, ‘I’m going to hit a home run right here,’ ” Mullarkey said.

Iowa had a lot at stake in this contest, and it wasn’t an easy go from the first inning. Drake scored first and had three easy hits.

Iowa woke up in the bottom of the third. Redshirt junior Sammi Gyerman set the tone with a double to left field that sent Fritsch home. After another quick double, Gyerman came home, and there was finally a ball game.

Nicole Newman’s pitching was the thorn in Iowa’s side, and she didn’t allow the Hawkeyes to get into much of a groove. Until the bottom of the third, Iowa only had 2 hits.

Newman finished the game, allowing 7 hits and striking out 5.

“Drake is a very good ball club,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. “They’re a team that doesn’t’ just lay over and say, ‘Oh, we’re playing Iowa, we’re not going to show up.’ They were coming to play, and we knew that.”

Drake’s Kennedy Frank doubled to the right field and sent two more runners in to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead over the Hawks in the top of the fourth.

“Our team never cut their tails; they knew they had an opportunity,” Looper said. “The bottom of our lineup was very calm, and they did their job. That’s team softball. That’s what we’ve been doing; we just haven’t been able to get the knockout punch, which we got tonight.”

After two big wins at home against Northern Iowa and Drake, the team looks forward to keeping the momentum going.

Iowa is 11-26 overall, 1-9 in conference play with Wisconsin coming to Iowa City on Friday.

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