Softball wins four of five in opening tournament

After dropping the first game of the season, Iowa softball recovered and won four games over the weekend.

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Softball wins four of five in opening tournament

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up for a pitch at the Iowa softball game against Indian Hills at Pearl Field on Sunday, October 6th, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Warriors 21-2.

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up for a pitch at the Iowa softball game against Indian Hills at Pearl Field on Sunday, October 6th, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Warriors 21-2.

Hayden Froehlich

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up for a pitch at the Iowa softball game against Indian Hills at Pearl Field on Sunday, October 6th, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Warriors 21-2.

Hayden Froehlich

Hayden Froehlich

Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy winds up for a pitch at the Iowa softball game against Indian Hills at Pearl Field on Sunday, October 6th, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Warriors 21-2.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

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After an off-season of continuity for Iowa softball, the Hawkeyes started off the season successfully as the team headed down south.

Iowa took part in the Kickin’ Chicken Classic in Conway, South Carolina, where the team won four of five games — including an eight-inning victory over Virginia Tech.

The Hawkeyes started the season strong with a win over East Carolina. After Aralee Bogar and Riley Sheehy ended up on second and third base in the first inning, freshman Kalena Burns sent them home with a three-run homerun at her first ever collegiate at-bat.

After the hot start, Iowa managed to maintain its lead up until the sixth inning, where East Carolina scored four unanswered runs to make it 5-5 heading into the seventh inning. However, the Hawkeyes would find a way to win.

After sophomore Miranda Schulte got on base after a fielding error, Mia Ruther came up to the plate and singled. Schulte’s pinch runner Taylor Ryan stole third before freshman Nia Carter recorded a game winning walk-off RBI, clinching a 6-5 victory.

Iowa’s game against Virginia Tech did not go as well, with the Hawkeyes managing just three hits in the five-inning game.

Day two in South Carolina saw Iowa earn two close victories, thanks in large part to great pitching performances from Allison Doocy and Lauren Shaw. Shaw recorded nine strikeouts against Campbell and allowed just four hits overall as Iowa avoided committing any errors on the way to victory.

Doocy would outdo Shaw with 12 strikeouts in the second game of the day against Coastal Carolina.

“We had a great outing today,” Iowa head coach Renee Gillispie said in a release. “Defensively, both Lauren Shaw and Allison Doocy did a fantastic job against Campbell and Coastal Carolina. Both understood what their parts were and stepped up big to get us wins.”

The team had an early start to their final game of the weekend with a 9:30 a.m. rematch against Virginia Tech.

After being blown out in their first outing against the Hokies, Iowa recovered for an impressive victory over a Virginia Tech team picked to finish second in the ACC this season. The game was a solid performance all around, but junior Mia Ruther stood out in particular, going 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Iowa got off to a good start, with Avery Guy smashing a two-run homer over center field. After a three-run fifth inning for the Hokies, Iowa had to play catch-up once again. Up would step Mia Ruther, scoring an RBI single that brought freshman Nia Carter home.

As the game went to extra innings, Iowa was looking for someone to step up and make a big play. Once again, Ruther would deliver when it mattered most. After singling to first, freshman Taylor Ryan made it to third plate, before a throwing error saw her make it home and clinch the win.

Iowa next takes the diamond for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge this weekend, facing Boston College and Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

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