Seventh-inning comeback effort propels Iowa softball over Indiana in extra innings

After the comeback effort in the seventh frame ended with a tie, the Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers, 2-1, in ten innings.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Renee Gillispie talks with her players during a softball game between Iowa and Indiana at Pearl Field on Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 1-0.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

At the bottom of the seventh inning, Iowa softball was down to its last chance as it trailed Indiana, 1-0. Freshman catcher Lindy Milkowski was due up.

For some good luck, her mom moved from her seat behind home plate to where she was sitting down the third base line when Milkowski hit her first career home run Saturday.

Although Milkowski didn’t hit the home run her mother was hoping for, she knocked a one-out double that started a string of hits for the Hawkeyes.

Her double was the second hit of the day for Iowa after the Hawkeyes only got their first hit in the sixth inning.

The double came against Indiana’s starting pitcher Emily Goodin, someone the Hawkeyes were very familiar with by Sunday. Goodin had appeared in every game of the four-game series for the Hoosiers, pitching two complete games and 24 total innings. 

“We were struggling with [Goodin] because we were making her look good,” head coach Renee Gillispie. “We were trying to hit at the low pitches out of the zone. We got caught a couple times on inside pitches that were good strikes, and we weren’t attacking.”

After Gillispie gave the team a pep talk before the seventh inning, the Hawkeyes started making some changes to Goodin’s familiar pitches.

“We talked to them about making adjustments at the plate,” Gillispie said. “I had them look at the board, and said… if it’s not working right now, we’ve got to make an adjustment. And they started adjusting at the plate, moving up in the box a little bit, trying to do something different that they did in the first six innings. When they did that, they started seeing that low ball a little better, and were making some good hits during the inning. I probably should’ve said that in the second inning, it would’ve been helpful.”

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Iowa had runners at second and third base at the bottom of the seventh and were poised for a last-minute comeback run. With two outs, third baseman Ashley Hamilton was tasked with keeping the comeback effort alive.

Unconventionally, she did just that.

After Hamilton hit a ground ball to Indiana’s second baseman and lost the battle for first base, the Hoosiers jumped off the bench, thinking they won the game. But Indiana’s catcher, Bella Norton, was called for catcher’s interference, allowing Hamilton first base.

With the bases loaded, that set the stage for freshman center fielder Brylee Klosterman, who hit a RBI single to tie the game at one at the bottom of the seventh. 

“It’s hard to deny the fact that, of course, I had the nerves that come with all of it,” Klosterman said. “But it’s always somebody’s dream to grow up here, and be on their home field as a freshman, and have something like that happen. [Allison] Doocy pitched a great game, and I wanted to do anything I could for her, and for the rest of the team.”

After the tying run came across the plate, sophomore Nia Carter lined out to shortstop to send the game into extra innings.

Klosterman finished the game 2-for-2 at the plate and with a sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning to help the Hawkeyes in their walk-off 2-1 win over the Hoosiers.

The win propelled the Hawkeyes to 13-7 on the season, their third consecutive victory, and a series win over the Hoosiers.  

Iowa is on the road next weekend at Wisconsin to play the Badgers in a four-game series in Madison, Wisconsin. The action starts Friday at 3 p.m.

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