Iowa softball falls to Minnesota in extra innings

The Hawkeyes allowed three runs in the eighth inning to fall to the Golden Gophers on Saturday, 5-2.


Gabby Drees

Iowa pitcher Breanna Vasquez winds up a pitch during a softball game between Iowa and Wisconsin at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Sunday, March 27, 2022. Vasquez pitched for all seven innings. The Badgers beat the Hawkeyes, 9-3.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball fell to Minnesota, 5-2, in eight innings on Saturday at Bob Pearl Field to move the weekend series to 1-1.

Breanna Vasquez picked up her ninth loss of the season in the defeat, giving up 10 hits and five Golden Gopher runs. 

The game was a stalemate at two runs apiece going into the eighth inning, but back-to-back home runs from Minnesota in the top of the eighth gave the Golden Gophers the advantage.

Iowa ultimately could not wake its bats up as the Hawkeyes finished with five hits in the contest.

“Just keep their heads up, we had several opportunities in the game before that eighth inning, and we just have to take advantage of those,” head coach Renee Gillispie told The Daily Iowan. ”Tomorrow’s another day, it’s our opportunity to take a series and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Golden Gopher first baseman Megan Dray was dominant in the win over Iowa as she went 3-for-4 at the plate while hitting a home run and knocking in three RBIs.

Big Picture

After the loss to Minnesota, Iowa moved to 18-17 on the 2022 season with a Big Ten record of 1-7. 

The Hawkeyes have yet to win a conference series this season and have the opportunity to win their first in game three against the Golden Gophers on Sunday.

Iowa remains in last place in the Big Ten standings after the loss on Saturday to Minnesota.

Domination on the mound

With the game tied at two in the fourth inning, Minnesota pitcher Autumn Pease came in for relief for Emily Leavitt and was crucial in putting the Hawkeyes away.

In 3.2 innings pitched, Pease allowed zero runs on one hit while striking out two Iowa batters.

“I think she just kept it low on us,” Gillispie said. “We were trying to do too much with that low pitch, instead of just going with it and trying to drive it through the infield. We were lifting it and most of the options we had were little pop ups so we just have to go with the pitches they give us.” 

What’s Next

In preparation for game three against Minnesota, Iowa hopes to focus on the little things in order to win its first Big Ten series of the season.

“Again, it’s the little things,” Gillispie said. “I mean, it’s laying down the bunts when we need it, being able to hit behind runners and move those runners when we have the chance. You know, we played well defensively, but it’s being able to attack them offensively.”

The Hawkeyes will take on the Golden Gophers in the final game of the series at noon on Sunday at Bob Pearl Field. The game will also be streamed on BTN+.