Softball falls in first home games due to mental mistakes

In the first games at Bob Pearl Field, Iowa did not put on its best performance of the season.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Katie

Pitcher Mallory Kilian stands ready near first base during Women’s Softball Iowa vs. South Dakota State University at Bob Pearl Field on March 21, 2018. The Jackrabbits defeated the Hawkeyes 5 to 2 in the 7th inning. (Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa softball failed to pick up a win in their home-opening double header against South Dakota State on Wednesday.

The Hawkeyes fell in the first game, 4-1.

Sophomore Allison Doocy started off in the circle for game one against the Jackrabbits. She allowed 4 runs on 10 hits in her complete game. Doocy also had 9 strikeouts to go along with 3 walks.

South Dakota State jumped out to an early lead in the first and increased it on a mental mistake by the Iowa defense. With only one out and runners at the corners, a line drive back to Doocy froze the runner on third for the double play to end the threat.

In the Hawkeyes’ half-inning, designated hitter Taylor Libby recorded the team’s first hit on a single up the middle. She advanced to second on a groundout, but the bottom of the order was unable to capitalize.

After quick third and fourth innings on both sides, South Dakota State began the top of the fifth with a shot into right center. A misplay off the wall by right fielder McKenzie Schneider allowed for the double to be stretched into a triple. After a bunt and a steal, the Jackrabbits had runners in scoring position with only one out.

Back-to-back singles put South Dakota State up by four in the fifth, but Iowa would cut the deficit to just three in its half of the inning. Second baseman Lea Thompson reached on an error and was put in a position to steal second and advance on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Havyn Monteer. On a single by shortstop Aralee Bogar, the Hawkeyes got on the board.

The final two innings of the game went quickly, with the Hawkeyes unable to come up with three runs to tie the score. The Iowa offense only had three hits through the seven innings.

The main takeaway from the first game was changing the mindset.

“The biggest thing was being on the affirmative instead of almost, not wishing for something to happen, but make something happen,” head coach Marla Looper said.

In the circle to start the second game, senior Kenzie Ihle looked to improve on her existing 1-1 record and 3.42 ERA.

The Hawkeyes took an early lead in the second on an RBI double by second baseman Daniella Ibarra to score Libby.

The Jackrabbits answered back in the top of the third inning with a home run off the scoreboard and capitalized on four-consecutive free bases. A single increased the Jackrabbit lead to 3-1 before Ihle could get out of the jam.

The Hawkeye offense didn’t wait to answer back. In the first pitch of her at-bat, first baseman Mallory Kilian sent a line drive over the left-center wall to cut the deficit to one, but failed to plate another with runners at the corners.

“It was good just to get our side some positive vibes and to get something started for us,” Kilian said.

The next two innings were quiet for South Dakota State, and despite Iowa having multiple runners in scoring position, the score was still 3-2 going into the seventh.

In the top of the final inning, the Jackrabbits looked to add to their lead with runners on first and second with one out. On a single to left field, Wood threw a dart to home plate to catch the runner at home. Despite the previous defensive effort, the next single to center made the score 5-2.

Erin Riding relieved Ihle for the final out in the seventh. Ihle gave up 4 hits and 6 walks in her start, with 4 of her 5 runs being earned.

With two outs and runners on first and second, a line drive to the left fielder ended the game.

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