Iowa softball drops first leg of three-game series against Purdue

The Hawkeyes lost their fifth conference game in a row on Friday, falling 5-1 to the Boilermakers.


Isabella Cervantes

Iowa pitcher Denali Loeker pitches during a softball game between Iowa and Purdue at Pearl Field in Iowa City on Friday, May 6, 2022. Lokeker faced 25 batters while giving up nine hits. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes, 5-1.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball lost the first game of its weekend series against Purdue, 5-1, at Bob Pearl Field on Friday.

Sophomore Denali Loecker got the starting nod in the circle for the Hawkeyes. She picked up her 10th loss of the 2022 season to move to 10-10 overall. Loecker allowed nine hits and three runs in the defeat, striking out one batter in five innings of work.

Loecker was relieved by freshman Devyn Greer, who faced just two Boilermaker batters. Greer gave up two runs during her limited stint at hurler Friday.

Senior Breanna Vasquez was the last Hawkeye to enter the circle Saturday. She gave up no hits or runs and struck out four batters in two frames of action.

Purdue shortstop Rachel Becker was strong at the plate Friday, going 3-of-4 in the contest. Becker scored two of the Boilermakers’ five runs.

Big Picture

After the defeat, Iowa moves to 20-30 overall on the 2022 season. The Hawkeyes’ Big Ten record is now 2-19. Iowa is currently riding a five-game losing streak.

Iowa is in last place in the Big Ten standings. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are 1.5 games ahead of the Hawkeyes with a 3-17 Big Ten record. Iowa is 2.5 games back of 12th-place Michigan State.

The Hawkeyes are not on pace to make the 2022 Big Ten Tournament as of now. Only the top 12 teams in the league will qualify for the event in East Lansing.

The Big Ten Tournament will be held at Secchia Stadium on the campus of Michigan State University May 11-14.

Stranded Hawkeyes

Iowa struggled offensively on Friday. The Hawkeyes mustered just four hits and one run against Purdue. Iowa stranded eight runners on the contest.

“It’s just been clutch hitting, you know,” Iowa head coach Renee Gillispie told The Daily Iowan. “We’ve had runners in scoring position in almost every inning. It’s just being able to get those clutch hits. We’ve struggled with that all season, and we’re still struggling.”

No Hawkeyes registered more than one hit on Saturday. Loecker had the most at-bats of all Iowa hitters Friday with four. Sophomore Grace Banes and freshman Rylie Moss took the plate twice each. Junior Sophia Maras produced one hit in her lone at-bat.

Up next

Iowa will take on Purdue in game two of this weekend’s series at Bob Pearl Field. Game three will follow on Sunday at noon. Both bouts will also be streamed on BTN+.