Iowa softball’s bats recover a day after being no-hit

The Hawkeyes scored a combined 11 runs and had 19 hits in Saturday’s doubleheader.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa utility player Marissa Peek hits a home run during a softball game between Iowa and Indiana at Pearl Field on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Peek recorded the only run for the Hawkeyes but it proved enough. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 1-0.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

One day after having no runners reach base, Iowa softball got its bats going in a doubleheader against Northwestern Saturday in Iowa City.

Though the Hawkeyes lost the first game, 9-7, and the second game, 7-4, the combined 11 runs and 19 hits showed they did have some pop in the bat after head coach Renee Gillispie said that her team was taking a lot of defensive swings Friday.

In the first inning of the first game, the Hawkeyes got their first three batters on base, and then freshman first baseman Denali Loecker hit a single off the pitcher to score the first run of the game.

The next batter, freshman catcher Marissa Peek, hit a bases clearing double to right center field to give the Hawkeyes a 4-0 lead.

“I was just trying to do anything to put a ball hard in play so my team could score some runs because yesterday we had a very bad offensive day,” Peek said. “So I was just trying to make something happen.”

The three RBIs Peek got on that play gave her the first multiple RBI game of her career.

The Hawkeyes scored one more run in the frame after sophomore right fielder Nia Carter was caught in a run down between first and second but freshman Amber DeSena, who was pinch running, stole home, which allowed her to score and for Carter to steal second.

Freshman Lindy Milkowski hit an RBI double in left center field in the second inning to score freshman center fielder Brylee Klosterman, and in the fourth Peek got another RBI with a single to the right side to score junior left fielder Riley Sheehy.

Iowa had 12 hits in the first game.

“We just made a couple changes in the batting cage today,” Gillispie said. “We talked about being short to the ball and just made a few adjustments, and they seemed to really buy into it.”

RELATED: Northwestern throws perfect game against Iowa softball

Danielle Williams, the Northwestern pitcher who threw the perfect game against Iowa Friday, came in as the starter in the second game of the doubleheader.

It looked like she was going to have another great outing after allowing only one through the first three innings, but the Hawkeyes started to take advantage of her weaknesses after that by getting three runners on base in the fourth inning and two on base in the fifth.

The Hawkeyes finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth after Carter got a two RBI double. The next batter, Klosterman, got a two RBI single. Williams was taken out as pitcher after Klosterman’s single, and Iowa failed to put any runs on the board after that.

“I think the umpire was a little different today,” Loecker said. “So we were adjusting a little different, and it took a couple at-bats for everyone to finally see the pitcher and realize he had a tighter strike zone. So we saw the umpire, then we were like ‘oh, we can lay off these pitches,’ and then we were starting to drive our own pitches and waiting for the pitches we can drive.”

Between the two games, Loecker had five hits, all of which were singles.

Carter’s multiple hit game in the second game was her ninth multiple hit game of the season.

Iowa (14-13) will play its next game Sunday at noon to finish off its series against Northwestern (21-6). With the Wildcats taking the first three games, the Hawkeyes hope they can take the fourth game.

‘We’re just going to keep going off where we left off today,” Loecker said. “We had a lot of good at-bats, and I think we could have made a couple more plays behind our pitchers. So we just have to eliminate those big innings that we’re giving up, and I think we’ll be in the game tomorrow.”