Defense seals Iowa softball’s 1-0 win over Nebraska

Junior Riley Sheehy captured two balls in left field in the top of the seventh inning to maintain the Hawkeyes’ 1-0 lead.

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Hannah Kinson

Iowa utility player Brylee Klosterman hits the ball during a softball game against Nebraska on Friday, May 7, 2021 at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Huskers, 1-0.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter


At the top of the seventh inning at Bob Pearl Field Friday afternoon, Iowa softball was hanging on to a one-run lead. And Nebraska was threatening, with one out and a runner on second base.

Then, Nebraska catcher Anni Raley whacked a ball into the foul territory of left field. Hawkeye left fielder Riley Sheehy bobbled the ball as it bounced off her glove, but she caught it for the second time as she recorded the second out of the seventh.

On the next pitch by Iowa senior right-hander Allison Doocy, it was up to Sheehy again, as Nebraska’s left fielder Abbie Squier hit a ball in fair territory to the left field warning track.

The ball hit Sheehy’s glove, securing Iowa softball’s 1-0 win over Nebraska.

 

“Those were two huge catches for us,” head coach Renee Gillispie said. “With Riley, she’s making plays like that all season long, and knowing going into the seventh inning that they’re going to be ready to hit, they already saw Doocy for six innings … I think it should be on ESPN, that last catch, the game winning catch.”

Sheehy’s catches at the top of the seventh protected a one-hit complete game for Doocy, for the pitcher’s eighth win of the season. In the seven-inning outing, Doocy walked two batters and struck out six.

“I think [those catches] were awesome,” Doocy said. “Our defense worked really hard today, they were making great plays the entire day. They’re not taking their foot off the gas, they’re continuing to make the plays that they need in order to get out of the inning.”

The sole run of the game came in the bottom of the third inning, as senior infielder Aralee Bogar and freshman outfielder Brylee Klosterman hit consecutive triples to put the Hawkeyes on the board.

“I just knew that I needed to do whatever I could to score that run,” Klosterman said. “We had runners in scoring position, and I knew that with Nebraska being a pretty good team, it was going to be a pretty close game, so I just wanted to do anything I could to score runners.”

Klosterman went 2-for-3 on the night, including a leadoff single in the first inning.

“She’s seeing the ball really well, she’s really staying focused on being able to hit the inside and outside pitch,” Gillispie said. “Pitchers have a really hard time pitching to her, and she’s just staying relaxed. She’s not trying to do too much, she’s looking for a good pitch, something that’s elevated and that she can drive, and that’s what she did today.”

Iowa and Nebraska came into the first game of the series with matching 20-16 records. With the win tonight, the Hawkeyes improve to 21-16 on the season.

“Every game counts at this point,” Doocy said. “We’re trying to get to the postseason, so just taking every game like it’s the most important game — because it is at that moment — and getting that win. Today’s win gives us more momentum for tomorrow, but tomorrow’s game is just as important as today’s, so just taking it one game at a time and continuing to build on the last.”

Iowa and Nebraska match up again on Saturday for a doubleheader, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Pearl Field.

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