Iowa softball ends senior day with a win and strong performance from Doocy

Iowa defeated Illinois, 4-3, with senior pitcher Allison Doocy getting the final nine outs.


Casey Stone

Iowa right-hand pitcher Allison Doocy pitches the ball during the Iowa Softball senior game against Illinois on May 16, 2021 at Bob Pearl Field. Iowa defeated Illinois 4-3. (Casey Stone/The Daily Iowan)

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

With runners on first and second and no outs in the fifth inning, Iowa softball senior Allison Doocy came in as the pitcher in her final game ever at Bob Pearl Field on an overcast Sunday.

Replacing senior Lauren Shaw as Iowa had a 4-3 lead against Illinois that it would maintain on senior day, Doocy forced a fly out on the first batter, had another fly out on the second batter which advanced both runners, and then walked the bases loaded.

But the aggressive Fighting Illini couldn’t get past the bases being loaded, as Doocy struck out freshman Breana Shorter to get out of the inning. Doocy then retired the next six batters to seal the game for the Hawkeyes.

“Obviously, all we want to do is get the job done, and that’s what we did” Doocy said. “We were going to do whatever it was, whoever had to be out there, but we wanted to get the job and get this final win at Peral.”

When Doocy record her final out, which was pop out to fellow senior Aralee Bogar at second base, she couldn’t believe her time playing at her home field was over. She reflected on her great career she has had with a great group of athletes and realized it was special moment to end her time on that field in the way that she did.

Playing in front of the engaged Hawkeye fans is something that Doocy probably won’t forget anytime soon.

“The fans and the parents have come out every day fighting for us, and we want to continue to fight for them,” Doocy said. “They’re supporting us, they’re cheering for us, and they’re really in the game. It’s really motivating seeing them up there, coming out every day and really doing it for us. I know it’s limited capacity, but having fans in the stands has been awesome, and there’s no other fanbase like the University of Iowa. I love playing in front of them, and I’m going to miss them the most.”

Head coach Renee Gillispie, who wanted those pitchers to see the day for celebration rather than the end, knew coming in that Doocy would be Shaw’s backup. She knew that they could four or five innings from Shaw and that Doocy could be strong for three innings.

“They just had so much energy today,” Gillispie said. “It was fun to watch.”

Shaw got the win, her ninth of the season, while Doocy got the save.

Along with Doocy, Shaw, and Bogar, pitcher Sarah Lehman, infielder Avery Guy, and utility players Ashley Hamilton and DoniRae Mayhew were honored after the game for the senior day celebration.

As for the play of the game, the Hawkeyes were down 3-2 in the fourth with one out and a runner on second when freshman shortstop Grace Banes stepped up to the plate. Though she was hitting .196 heading into the series, that didn’t reflect what she did next.

The Kansas City, Kansas, native hit a home run to just left of the scoreboard in center field that barely over the fence to give the Hawkeyes the lead.

“It was just the perfect time to come up,” Banes said. “It was senior day, so it was all for them. I’m so happy I got to play with them and had the opportunity to get that clutch hit.”

The Hawkeyes finished the season with a 26-18 record, giving them fourth place in the Big Ten, which is their best finish since the 2012 season. The last time the team had a winning record in the conference was in 2012 also.

Though the Hawkeyes are not by projected by D1Softball to make the NCAA Tournament — the selections for that will be announced at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 — Gillispie is proud of how the team has come out this season considering its youth. The Hawkeyes won 10 out of their last 12 games.

“We are really excited about being in that fourth position and fighting for it this year,” Gillispie said. “Early on, we had some games that we shouldn’t have lost, and that hurt us and put us in this position. We could have been third, even second in the rankings right now if we had taken care of some of the games early on this season.

“But we’re young and you look at how we came out this spring, we didn’t have a fall season. What you saw was basically where we should be in March right now is what you’re watching, and for them to come out and be able to play as competitive was huge.”

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