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

Hawks play softball, Badgers play hardball


By Courtney Baumann | [email protected]

The Iowa softball team had the opportunity to win its first Big Ten series of the season but could not find enough offensive momentum to win the third game on Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin won the series at Pearl Field, downing the Hawkeyes, 3-1.

Things didn’t look good right away, when the first three Wisconsin batters got on base because of 2 errors and a walk. However, an infield fly, a called strikeout, and a ground out to short later, the Hawkeyes got out of the inning unscathed.

The first run of the game came in the bottom of the second for Iowa. Holly Hoffman and Angela Schmiederer led the inning off with back-to-back base hits, and Mallory Kilian loaded the bases with a walk. A sacrifice fly from Sarah Kurtz brought Hoffman home.

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, that was the only run the team scored. The momentum swung in Wisconsin’s favor, and Iowa could not quite get it back, with the Hawkeyes stranding nine base runners.

“I thought we came out ready to play today,” pitcher Shayla Starkenburg said. “Wisconsin is a really good team, and we just had to get some of those hits when we had runners on.”

Starkenburg had a no-hitter heading into the fifth inning, but a double down the third base line from Samantha Arents got the Badger offense going again for the first time since the top of the first. Macy Oswald tied the game at 1 with a single up the middle that scored the pinch runner.

The fifth inning offense rolled over into the sixth. A hit and an error put two runners on base, then a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position.  Both runners scored on a single from Katie Christner.

Iowa had an opportunity to strike back in the bottom of the sixth but was unable to make anything happen after loading the bases.

“We started off pretty well, but I think our intensity dropped off at the end, and we just couldn’t get it back,” Hoffman said. “The hardest thing about this sport is trying to deal with feeling that momentum shift and trying not to do too much … I think some people were trying to do too much, and I think we go caught up in that.”

Starkenburg pitched the full game for Iowa, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs,2 earned. The redshirt junior struck out 4 and walked 2.

Although Starkenburg was solid for the Hawkeyes, the defense had difficulty backing her up at times. Iowa committed 3 errors, 2 in the first and 1 in the sixth. The Badgers capitalized on the third error; they scored the game-winning run.

“Unfortunately, our defense wasn’t solid throughout the game when we had some good, solid innings out of Shayla,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. “We have to have two out of three parts of the game going for us to have success.”

Iowa’s next competition will be a home double-header against Missouri on Tuesday.

Follow @cbomb12 on Twitter for Iowa softball team news, analysis, and updates.

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