Iowa softball takes three out of four at Purdue

Strong pitching once again led the way for the Hawkeyes.


Katina Zentz

Pitcher Allison Doocy (3) poses for a portrait during Softball Media Day at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Like it has many times before in 2021, pitching carried the way for Iowa softball this weekend at Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana, as the Hawkeyes won three of four games there.

In the first game of the series Friday, starting pitcher Sarah Lehman went the full seven innings as she helped the Hawkeyes to a 4-2 victory with three strikeouts and allowing three hits. One of the two runs allowed was earned.

It was her fifth win of the season.

“Just going out there and starting out strong is a big way for me to get through these games,” Lehman said in a release. “You know that your defense has your back, and you can throw whatever you need or want, and they will have your back. It is awesome.”

At the plate, Iowa had 13 hits with Kalena Burns going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Riley Sheehy, Ashley Hamilton, and Brylee Klosterman also had multi-hit games.

The Hawkeyes scored their first run in the first inning, thanks to a Denali Loecker double to right centerfield that brought Sheehy home.

The fourth inning saw two runs from the Hawkeyes with Burns hitting a double of her own to right centerfield that led to Zoe Schulte scoring. Klosterman then hit a single to bring Amber DeSena home.

A Sheehy single in the sixth inning led to Avery Guy scoring.

“We definitely prepared very well for this weekend,” Burns said in a release. “We practiced hard this past week. Going into the game our mindset was to hit the ball hard and have some fun, and that is what we did.”

The teams played a doubleheader Saturday.

In the first game, starting pitcher Allison Doocy went the distance and struck out a season-high 13 batters in a 5-3 win. She allowed six hits and three earned runs.

“It was awesome,” Doocy said in a release. “Before the game you could tell everyone was ready to go, excited for today’s game coming off a big win yesterday. I was just feeding off their energy. The defense was solid today, they were ready and talking. Whenever the ball was hit, they were making the plays we needed.”

Iowa scored three runs in the second inning. A Loecker single scored Lindy Milkowski, and then later on, Klosterman singled that helped Burns score. Nia Cater singled to allow Hamilton to score.

The Hawkeyes got two runs in the fifth inning when Burns hit a sacrifice fly to score Carter, and then Grace Banes scored on a throwing error.

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In the second game, Iowa fell, 5-4, in a 12-inning contest. Lauren Shaw was the starting pitcher and went 8.1 innings and allowed two earned runs and 11 hits.

Lehman pitched the final three innings and gave three runs, one of which was earned.

Iowa was up 4-3 heading into the bottom of the 12th inning, but Purdue scored on two RBI singles to give the Boilermakers the walk-off victory.

The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, with Marissa Peek hitting a solo home run — her first of her career — and Carter getting an RBI single to tie the game.

Klosterman hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the 11th inning to give the Hawkeyes a 3-2 lead, but the Boilermakers tied it up in the bottom half of the inning.

In the top of the 12th inning, Banes doubled to help Carter score.

“We had two hard fought games today in the doubleheader,” head coach Renee Gillispie said in a release. “We had good performances by our senior pitching staff of Doocy, Shaw and Lehman. We are starting to see better approaches at the plate. Marissa Peek had her first career home run which came in a big spot to help keep us in that game. We had some great defensive plays.”

For the final game of the series Sunday, the Hawkeyes bounced back with an 8-3 victory. Once again, Doocy pitched all seven innings. She struck out four batters and allowed three earned runs and 11 hits.

The Boilermakers scored the first run of the game in the first inning, but the Hawkeyes responded right back with eight runs of their own before allowing the other two runs in the seventh inning.

Peek hit an RBI double in the second inning to score Aralee Bogar, and then in the third inning Banes doubled as well to allow Schulte to score.

The Hawkeyes had their biggest inning in the fourth when they scored four runs. Schulte first got two RBIs on a single, scoring Carter and DeSena. Loecker then helped score the other two runs with a double that brought home Banes and Schulte.

The Hawkeyes’ final runs were scored via a Loecker two-run homer in the sixth inning.

“I just went into the game trusting myself,” Loecker said in a release. “I knew I needed to trust my eyes and hit the ball for my team. Move the runners and do not try too hard, just see the ball, and hit the ball. It worked out.”

Iowa (10-6) will play its first game of the season at Pearl Field April 2 at 3 p.m. against Indiana (7-9) as part of a four-game series.