Iowa softball hits skid as Big Ten season begins

BY CODY GOODWIN | MARCH 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa softball team’s 17-6 start to the 2013 season has quickly become an afterthought. After having two games cancelled in Louisville, Ky., on March 17 because of rain, the Hawkeyes went on to lose five of their next seven games — including their last three against Big Ten foe Minnesota — to reach 19-11 (0-3 Big Ten).

The Black and Gold resumed play at Louisville’s Ulmer Stadium on March 18 against Ball State and lost, 7-5. The Cardinals held a 4-3 lead after three innings and tacked on a run in each of their last three innings to secure the victory.

Iowa bounced back nicely with a 6-2 win over No. 11 Louisville, but then the Hawks turned around and lost to the host team the next day, 6-4. The Black and Gold traveled the 78 miles to Lexington, Ky., where they topped the No. 21 Wildcats, 3-1.

That was Iowa’s fifth Top-25 victory this season.

“We tried to schedule a tough nonconference slate,” Iowa softball coach Marla Looper said in a release. “The team has done a nice job against tough opponents.”

The Hawkeyes then came home this past weekend to open their conference schedule with a three-game set against Minnesota. Iowa was swept by the scores of 4-1 and 7-3 during the March 22 doubleheader and lost, 10-1, on March 23.

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