Iowa softball uses high-powered fourth inning to take down Purdue

The Hawkeyes scored seven runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Boilermakers, 9-3, at Pearl Field.


Gabby Drees

Iowa first baseman Kalena Burns hits the ball during a softball game between Iowa and Purdue at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Burns earned one run. The Hawkeyes beat the Boilermakers, 9-3.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

Iowa softball used a seven-run fourth inning to take down Purdue, 9-3, at Pearl Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawkeyes and Boilermakers traded runs for the first three innings, and Iowa scored first in the bottom of the opening frame with an RBI single from infielder Kalena Burns and an RBI double from Sophia Maras. 

The Boilermakers fought back by scoring three runs in the next two innings and retaking the lead, 3-2, on Hawkeye freshman pitcher Emma Henderson.

Purdue loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the third inning, but Iowa freshman Katherine Serna stepped in the circle, recording three outs without a run crossing the plate. 

Serna threw five innings of scoreless relief for the Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon, taking her second win of the season.

“A variety of pitches were working for me today,” Serna said. “Going in and out of the zone, changeups, and especially having my catcher back there getting me through the game at the same time.”

The Iowa offense broke the game open in the fourth inning, as the Hawkeyes recorded five of their 10 hits. 

“We executed,” head coach Renee Gillespie said. “They executed a hit and run. They executed a squeeze play. We were able to tag up on a fly ball. Everything we did in that one inning was execution.” 

Big Picture

The bats powered the Hawkeyes on Saturday afternoon. Iowa scored a total of nine runs, the most since a 9-8 victory over Minnesota on April 8. 

“It’s a relief,” Serna said. “Getting that many runs and going out there and feeling way more confident. You just want to dominate more and you just feel better.”

Up Next

Iowa will return to action on Sunday afternoon to take on Purdue in the third and final game of the series.

The Hawkeyes close out the regular season on Sunday and are poised to miss the 12-team Big Ten Tournament, which runs from May 11-14 in East Lansing, Michigan. Iowa is currently 14th in the Big Ten standings with a 3-19 conference record.