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Iowa softball falls to Northern Iowa, Upper Iowa in double-header

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ AND JORDAN HANSEN | SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa softball team lost in back-to-back games in a Sunday night double-header to Northern Iowa and Upper Iowa.

The first game, which started 45 minutes late because of a scheduling error, was the first game of a back-to-back double-header that was a part of the All-Iowa Classic, featuring the Hawkeyes, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, and Upper Iowa.

Iowa starting pitcher Kayla Massey gave up 6 hits before getting pulled after only pitching three innings. Shayla Starkenburg came in to relieve Massey, but she went back in at the end of the game to close it out for the Hawks.

Errors played a large role in Iowa’s loss. A ball through the legs of third-basemen Michelle Zoeller with the bases loaded put UNI up early in the first inning, and subsequent errors by the infield allowed Northern Iowa to lengthen its lead throughout the game. The Hawks finished the game with 5 errors.

At the plate, it was equally as stark for the Hawkeyes, who managed just 5 hits through seven innings, compared with UNI’s 13. Iowa hit several balls hard throughout the contest, but quick reactions by UNI’s infield were able to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard.

The second game was not much different.

The Hawks started off strong with 3 runs in the first inning. Senior Brianna Luna was hit by a pitch, and sophomore Haley Hansel got on base through a walk to start off things for the Black and Gold. Kayla Massey then hit a double to bring both runners in and put Iowa up 2-0.

Freshman Claire Fritsch hit a single, allowing for Massey to come home and put Iowa up 3-0.
The Peacocks struck back in the third inning, mostly due to errors by the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s four mistakes in the bottom of the third inning translated into 2 runs for the Peacocks.

Later in the same inning, Upper Iowa recorded its first and only hit of the game — a 3-run triple that put it up 5-3.

From that point on, Upper Iowa didn’t look back, only allowing 3 more hits by Iowa.

Iowa pitcher Micaela Whitney only allowed 1 hit, but the 4 errors proved too costly for the Hawkeyes to overcome.

Iowa finished 2-2 in the Classic, with wins coming against Iowa State and Drake.

The Hawkeyes are back in action against Marshalltown Community College on Friday.


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