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Softball falls to Missouri State, runs losing streak to eight

BY CHARLIE GREEN | FEBRUARY 23, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa softball team fell 6-2 on Sunday to Missouri State, capping an 0-5 showing over the weekend at the Ragin' Cajun Invitiational in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The performance ran the Hawkeye's losing streak to eight games; they're now just 3-10 on the season.

In the second inning, junior Erin Erickson hit her first home run of the season and the fifth of her career — putting the Hawkeyes on the board, still trailing 1-0.

After the Bears added another run in the third, sophomore Kaitlyn Mullarkey blasted another solo shot and closed the gap to 3-2.

Missouri State dominated the rest of the contest, adding two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth en route to its eighth win of the year. The Hawks scattered six hits across six different players throughout the game.

Redshirt sophomore Shayla Starkenburg started the game for the Hawks, giving up seven hits, four walks, and five runs in 4.1 innings. With the loss she moved to 2-6 on the season.

Freshman Ashley Yoways and junior Jillian Navarette finished out the game for Iowa. Navarette, in her second appearance of the season, surrendered one run in one inning of work. Yoways pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking one but giving up no hits or runs.

The winless weekend saw few bright spots for the Hawkeyes, one being a stellar performance from Erickson. In addition to her home run, the first-baseman hit .308 with a .615 slugging percentage on the weekend. For her effort, she was named to the Ragin' Cajun Invitational All-Tournament team following the contest.

"Really when it comes down to it, my performance doesn't matter when the result of the team isn't good," Erickson said.

Erickson had been hitting under .200 coming into the weekend; now she sits at .233. For head coach Maria Looper, Erickson's team-first attitude is nothing unexpected.

"She prepares well for games and is able to play a few different spots on the field for us," Looper said in a release. "She has her mind right for success when she steps on the field. Kudos to her, but I know she's not that excited about it because the team outcome wasn't what we want it to be."

The loss marked the second of the weekend to the Bears, with two more coming at the hands of Hofstra and one against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette.

Although they did show signs of solid offensive play early on, the team was unable to drive runs in aside from the two solo home runs. For Erickson and Company, finishing stronger figures to be a major point of emphasis going forward.

"I think it our issue is finishing with a sense of urgency," Erickson said. "We need to finish by putting the petal to the gas."

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


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