Iowa softball falls to Gators for second time in two days


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The Iowa softball team fell to top-ranked Florida on Sunday, 8-0, dropping it to 3-5 on the season.

The loss capped an 0-3 weekend for the team at the University of Florida Tournament, after losing to Florida and North Carolina State on Feb. 14.

The 10-0 Gators got off to a hot start in Sunday’s matchup, scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the first inning. Hawkeye pitcher Shayla Starkenburg was able to corral the early surge with two consecutive strikeouts to end the inning, but the Gators were far from done offensively.

They added 3 runs in the third and 1 in the fourth and fifth innings in the shutout loss for the Hawkeyes.

Starkenburg moved to 2-3 on the season after the defeat. She surrendered 9 hits in 4.1 innings on the afternoon, but she did manage to notch six strikeouts.

“Shayla showed great promise today with her approach to the game,” Looper said in a release. “We didn’t have the zone we wanted, but that just proves that we don’t have to have the strike zone we want to get them to do some things with the pitches we put up there.”

Florida sophomore Delanie Gourley stifled the Hawkeye batters from the mound all day, giving up only 3 hits, striking out 8, and walking 1 in five innings of work.

Iowa’s best chance to get on the scoreboard came in the top of the second. Junior Erin Erickson reached base on an infield single, followed by freshman Allie Wood reaching on an error — but that was as close as they got.

Gourley struck out the next three batters, and Florida never looked back.

Aside from Erickson, senior Megan Blank and sophomore Sammie Gyerman were the only Hawkeyes to hit safely in the contest.

The rematch was nearly identical to the previous day’s matchup, which the Gators also won 8-0 in five innings.

In the end, the top-ranked Florida squad proved too much for the Hawks to handle, outhitting them 15-5 in the two weekend games and striking out 16.

“They are a quality club,” Iowa coach Maria Looper said in a release. “Coming down here, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We should be able to step on the field with anybody in the country, and I think we had some proof this weekend that we can accomplish that.”

Follow @CharlsGreen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa softball team.

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