Iowa softball snaps eight-game losing streak, loses road series to Illinois

The Hawkeyes’ overall record moved to 19-25 as they lost two of three games to the Illini in Champaign.


Grace Smith

Iowa pitcher Denali Loecker swings a bat during a softball game between Iowa and Drake at Pearl Field in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Loecker scored a home run in the sixth inning to put Iowa in the lead. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs, 3-2.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball lost its road series against Illinois this past weekend, falling to the Illini in two of three games.

Iowa lost, 4-2, in game one. The Hawkeyes struggled offensively, only compiling four hits.

Sophomore Denali Loecker got the start in the circle and gave up two runs in 4.1 innings of work. Loecker was also effective at the plate as she hit her eighth home run of the season in the loss on Friday.

The Hawkeyes concluded their series against the Illini on Saturday in a doubleheader. Iowa and Illinois were originally slated to play on Sunday, but the game was moved up because of the threat of inclement weather.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Iowa snapped its eight-game losing streak, winning 7-3 in nine innings.

Senior Breanna Vasquez started in the circle, striking out eight Illini batters in the victory. Sophomore Denali Loecker came in for relief and closed out the game for the Hawkeyes.

“That was one of the best games Bre has thrown this year. I liked her fire and how she was going after the batters,” head coach Renee Gillispie said in a Saturday release. “And Denali was able to come in and finish it. They came out fired up, they looked like they were excited about going after them.” 

 In game three, Illinois clinched the series win with a 5-4 victory. Iowa was held hitless for the first six innings of the contest. 

Freshman pitcher Katherine Serna made her first first career start in the defeat, moving to 0-1 on the season. Infielders Sophia Maras and Sammy Diaz both had an RBI in the loss.

Big Picture

After the weekend, The Hawkeyes’ overall record in 2022 moved to 19-25 with a conference mark of 2-15.

The Hawkeyes have yet to win a conference series this season with two remaining on the 2022 schedule.

Iowa is currently in possession of 13th place in conference standings. Iowa sits one game in front of Rutgers, which has a conference record of 1-15. Purdue is in 12th place in the standings with a record of 2-11 in Big Ten play.

What’s Next 

Iowa will see its next action this Tuesday as the Hawkeyes travel to Ames to take on Iowa State. First pitch will come at 4 p.m at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Iowa will stay on the road next weekend, traveling to Evanston, Illinois, to take on Northwestern.