IU Falls to Ranked Iowa Squad
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Indiana softball team dropped a pair of games to the No. 19/24 Iowa Hawkeyes, 5-0 and 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at Bob Pearl Field. The Hoosiers are now 12-27 on the season and 2-4 in the Big Ten, while Iowa moved to 32-9, 4-4 in the conference.
"When you play a team like this, you have to make sure you hit, pitch and field," said head coach Stacey Phillips. "We gave it our best shot. We kept their big hitters from hitting the ball hard. We learned a lot from these two games and that will only help us in the long run."
Game two featured a pitchers dual as IU's Megan Roark (9-14) and Iowa's Ali Arnold kept both team's offense stagnant.
The Hawkeyes, though, were able to etch out two unearned runs in the fifth inning, the only two runs of the game. With two outs, Mindy Heidgerkin doubled down the left-field line. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch. The Hoosiers appeared to get out of the inning, but a three-base error on a suicide squeeze attempt by Jenna Spratt, gave Iowa its first run. Stacey May then followed with a long double of the center-field wall for a 2-0 Hawkeyes' lead.
Iowa added another unearned run in the fifth to push its lead to three runs, 3-0.
The Hoosiers best opportunity to score came in the fourth inning. With two outs, sophomore Kim Richards, who led off the frame with an infield single, was on second base and was heading to third on a wild pitch, but home plate umpire, Milt Hand, called junior Lauren Hines out on batters interference for not leaving the batters box.
Roark (9-14) would end up with the loss as she tossed seven innings for her 15th complete game of the season. She allowed three unearned runs on three hits. The Pleasant Hills, Calif., native also walked three and struck out three.
Arnold (12-2) went the distance giving up just two hits. She punched out 11 hitters and did not walk a batter.
For the second straight day, Richards' prevented the opposition from scoring. In Friday's contest against Illinois, she made a diving catch with two outs and runners on second and third to keep the Illini off the board. Today, in the third inning with an Iowa baserunner on third, May flied out to center where Richards unleashed a bullet to home plate to gun down the Hawkeye trying to advance home.
Richards and Hines were both 1-for-3 in the game.
In the opener, Iowa jumped out in front with two runs in the first and a tally in the second. In the first, a double steal and a sacrifice fly to right put Iowa ahead, 2-0. The following inning, a two-base error gave the Hawkeyes a runner in scoring position with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third, another Iowa bunt resulted in an infield RBI single and IU was down 3-0.
The home team plated another two runs in the third take a 5-0 advantage.
Freshman Rachel Carlson made her 16th start of the season and the first start of her career at shortstop. She had the only hit in the game for IU with a single in the third.
Indiana will end its six-game road trip with a short bus ride to Terre Haute, Ind., on Wednesday, April 13, for a single-game affair. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. The contest was originally scheduled for March 22, but inclement weather forced the game to be postponed.
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