Iowa softball drops four-game series with Wisconsin

The Hawkeyes only won one game out of four against the Badgers in Madison.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s Denali Loecker, who plays first base, touches home plate during a softball game at Pearl Field on Saturday, April 3 during a softball game between Iowa and Indiana. Loecker collected two RBIs.The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 8-0 in five innings.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball’s goal of sweeping a weekend series in the Big Ten will have to wait at least another week.

The Hawkeyes thought they could accomplish the feat against the then 5-15 Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, but Wisconsin stunned Iowa in the Friday doubleheader, taking both games, 7-1 and 1-0.

Senior pitcher Allison Doocy struggled in the first game of the doubleheader, allowing five hits and five earned runs in two innings pitched. Wisconsin came out swinging in the drizzle, tacking on four runs in the first inning and one in the third.

Southpaw Lauren Shaw relieved Doocy in the third inning and slowed down the Badgers’ hot offense except for three doubles in the fifth inning that plated two runs.

The Hawkeyes’ only score in the first game came on a triple in the sixth inning from junior outfielder Riley Sheehy, who then scored on a wild pitch.

Iowa’s scoring woes continued in the next game, as it dropped a 1-0 matchup to Wisconsin. Senior right-hander Sarah Lehman hurled seven innings of one-run ball — a Badger home run opened the scoring in the second inning — but the Hawkeye offense could not provide any run support through the game.

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The Hawkeyes bounced back Saturday, taking the game, 3-1.

Shaw, after pitching four innings Friday, was in the circle the entire game. The Badgers attempted a comeback effort in the seventh inning, but came up short as Shaw only allowed one run.

“I felt really good,” Shaw said in a release. “I think our team came out ready to go after two losses [Friday]. It is important to bounce back and not let that carry over. Everyone got the job done today. It is great when we all feed off each other. Pitching feeds off defense which feeds off hitting, so everyone worked together today.”

Iowa’s freshmen shined in Saturday’s game, with catcher Lindy Milkowski laying down two sacrifice bunts for two RBIs, and utility player Brylee Klosterman going 2-for-3 with a triple.

Klosterman was moved to the leadoff position in Saturday’s game, and the freshman proved effective in her new spot.

“She did a fantastic job being that lead off for us,” head coach Renee Gillispie said in a release. “That is what it takes, the head of our lineup needs to do the job, and today they did that. We are still working on being strong throughout the depths of our lineup, the middle isn’t getting the hits we need right now so we need to stay focused on that.”

The Hawkeyes looked to take their momentum into Sunday but came up short, losing 3-2 to the Badgers.

Wisconsin continued its early-game dominance, plating two runs against starting pitcher Sarah Lehman in the bottom of the first inning.

After a sacrifice bunt from senior infielder Aralee Bogar in the top of the second inning, freshman utility player Grace Banes touched the plate to open the scoring for the Hawkeyes. Iowa tied it up in the top of the sixth with an RBI single from sophomore infielder Kalena Burns, who ended the game 3-for-3 from the plate.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Wisconsin walked it off on two hits — a single from Badger junior Ally Miklesh and a double from freshman utility player Peyton Bannon — to take the game, 3-2, and the series, 3-1.

The Hawkeyes now sit at 14-10 on the season. Iowa returns to Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City this Friday for a four-game series against Northwestern.

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