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

Early blow out sinks softball


Although the forecast was 71 degrees, and the Sun shone brightly at Pearl Field on Sunday, it wasn’t a warm end of the season for the Iowa softball team.

The Hawkeyes got blown out by Minnesota in five innings, 12-0, and fell in yet another Big Ten series. Iowa has not won a conference series this season. The team ended the season 13-39, 3-20 in the Big Ten.

“I knew they’d come out and attack,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. “That’s what they’ve done the last two days, and that’s the kind of ball club they are.”

RELATED: Bittersweet weekend for softball

It was a pattern of plating runs early in the first few innings all weekend for Minnesota. The Gophers’ momentum in dominating Iowa in the early contests carried over into Sunday’s matchup.

The Gophers’ offense was hot in the top of the first inning. Minnesota scored 7 runs on 7 hits in a rough outing for Hawkeye pitcher Elizabeth Wiegand, making it hard for Iowa to come back.

“Minnesota is a good team, and they’re very consistent,” junior Kaitlyn Mullarkey said. “I know they’re still a little mad about that upset last year, so we expected them to come out playing as hard as they play. It’s just what they do.”

In the bottom of the first inning, Mullarkey got Iowa its first hit of the day with a quick double. However, it wasn’t enough, and Iowa finished the bottom of the first with 1 hit, 1 walk and left two runners on base.

Mullarkey acknowledged that it was a rough first inning for the Hawks, but they weren’t able to “settle in” until after the damage was done.

Iowa put runners on in four of the five innings, but could not plate runs. After Minnesota’s impressive first inning, it was quiet for three innings, but Iowa couldn’t get its offense moving.

Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen started the game in the circle for the Gophers. She faced 15 batters, allowed 1 hit, and had 7 strikeouts.

“It was great for us to shut them down in those couple of innings,” Mullarkey said. “If we do that, we just need to capitalize better on the offensive side of that and score runs. We had a couple base runners today, but we didn’t hit anyone in.

“That’s where we struggled today.”

Wiegand started the game in the circle for the Hawks and allowed 7 hits and 7 runs. Shayla Starkenburg came in relief and allowed just 1 hit over the next three innings, but that changed in the fifth inning.

In the top of the fifth, Minnesota finished off its run-rule victory. The Gophers knocked 5 more runs in, extending its lead to 12-0.

“We knew Minnesota would be a tough team,” redshirt senior Holly Hoffman said. “We were trying to battle back, giving effort, but it just didn’t go our way.”

More to Discover