Hawkeyes sweep No. 13 Missouri in midweek doubleheader


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The first two innings of the first game of the double-header? No. 13 Missouri scores 1 run in the first inning and Iowa scored 3 runs in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead and held on for the win.
The second game?

Missouri scored 1 run in the first inning and Iowa scored 3 in the second and ended up with another victory.

Talk about a bit of déjà vu.

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That, however, was the end of the sameness between the games. In the second, the Tigers got 3 hits and a run in the top of the third inning to trim the Iowa lead to 3-2.

Iowa got the run back in the bottom of the third when junior Megan Blank came home on freshman Alyssa Navarro’s RBI single with two outs. Blank had hit a double early in the inning and was waiting for someone to bring her home.

Navarro had only hit .148 this season and was near the bottom of the order. In several moments of the game, the bottom of the order was key in continuing a rally and getting on base.

“If weexpect to win games, everyone has to be hitting 1-9, and there can’t be a weak part of the lineup,” Blank said. “It’s definitely exciting to see them produce.”

The score was 4-2 after three innings.

Missouri answered with a huge inning in the top of the fourth. The Tigers got 3 runs on just three hits and took the lead, 5-4. Several great defensive plays by Mizzou, including an impressive out at home, kept the Hawks from scoring in the bottom of inning.

Missouri kept things rolling, scoring 2 more runs on two hits and forcing a pitching change. Starting pitcher freshman Shayla Starkenburg was pulled in favor of reliever sophomore Micaela Whitney.

Missouri looked about to break open the game, but Whitney played the role of damage control and Iowa escaped trailing 7-4.

Then, the bottom of the fifth inning happened.

Iowa’s bats came alive in every way possible and 2 walks, 2 singles, 2 doubles, a triple, and a home run later, they had retaken the lead. When the dust settled, the Hawks had scored 6 runs in an unbelievable bottom of the inning.

“Confidence breeds confidence, and success breeds success,” head coach Marla Looper said. “It was nice to see them feed off of each other and just keep moving and being aggressive on the bases.”

Missouri tried to rally, but despite having the bases loaded with only one out, the Tigers could only muster 1 run and trailed 10-8 as the game entered the bottom of the sixth.

At this point, nothing could stop the Hawkeyes; sophomore Whitney Repole and senior Michelle Zoeller both got on base with a walk and a single. Then, freshman Kaitlyn Mullarkey put the game out of reach with a 3-run homer to push the lead to 13-8.

Missouri picked up another run in the last inning, but it wasn’t nearly enough, and the Hawkeyes swept the No. 13 team in the nation, 13-9.

“We haven’t hit like this is a long time, and it was really a team effort,” Repole said. “People really stepped up to the plate in clutch situations, and our clutch hitting was huge.”

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