Softball competes at the Carolina Classic

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa softball team finished its opening weekend at the Carolina Classic with a record of 2-2.

The squad started off their 2014 season against North Carolina-Greensboro where redshirt freshman pitcher Shayla Starkenburg drew the spotlight in her first career game. She recorded a complete game one-hitter and struck out 5. Senior Kayla Massey went 3-for-4 at the plate to help Iowa cruise to a 5-0 victory.

In the second game of the double-header, the team took on host South Carolina and evened their record after a 1-0 loss on Feb. 7.

Nobody could score for the first three innings with both pitchers shutting down the opposing offenses. Iowa finally gave in when Massey gave up a solo home run to the Gamecock’s Kaylea Snaer in the fourth. Iowa missed opportunities to score in the top of the sixth with two runners on. South Carolina sealed the deal in the top of the seventh by retiring everybody in order.

On Feb. 8, the Hawkeyes defeated Presbyterian, 6-3, to improve their record to 2-1.

Extra base hits were crucial in their two 3-run innings; highlighting the hitting was sophomore Erin Erickson, who hit her first home run of her career and Iowa’s first of the season.

The final game of the weekend pitted Iowa against Ohio in a slugfest. Ohio took out Iowa, 9-6, to improve to 4-0 while the Hawkeyes fell back to .500.

Iowa started out fast by scoring 2 runs in the first, but Ohio responded with 4 in the bottom half. The Hawks scored again in the second, but the Bobcats responded once more with a pair and eventually held on to defeat Iowa.

The pitching for Iowa struggled with Massey (0-2) being replaced in the fourth innings. She took the loss.

“Unfortunately and fortunately, we started the way we practiced this week,” head coach Marla Looper said in a release. “We struggled defensively, and we hit the ball really well. That is exactly what we carried into this weekend. It wasn’t what we were looking for or what we expected, but it was how we prepared.”

— by Jack Rossi

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