IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa softball team (23-17) swept Nebraska (21-19) in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Bob Pearl Stadium. The 23 conference victories are the most in program history, surpassing the 22 wins held by the 1997 team. The Hawkeyes took Game 1, 6-1, and won the second game, 4-1.
Senior Allison Doocy got the start in the first game, striking out 11 Huskers and allowing only one run. She improved to 10-4 in the circle.
“It is great being at home,” said Doocy. “The fans really came out and supported today. We kept our momentum going from yesterday and the weekend before. We have a lot at stake right now trying to get a regional bid, and I think we are on the right track. We have a lot of motivation at this point.”
Senior Sarah Lehman threw 5.1 innings to earn the victory in Game 2.
Freshman Denali Loecker was 4-for-6 on the day with two doubles and three RBIs.
“I just thought ‘I need to see the ball, hit the ball,’” said Loecker. “Just get it to the outfield. Just seeing the ball and putting it in play moving my teammates. I was looking for that inside pitch and just drove it to the fence.”
Sophomore Nia Carter hit 4-for-7, and freshman Brylee Klosterman was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes broke things open in the second inning, scoring five runs on three hits. Carter reached on a bunt single, Marissa Peek singled up the middle, Ashley Hamilton drew a walk and Klosterman drew a walk to bring a run in. Peek then scored on a wild pitch and after Sheehy drew a walk, Loecker hit a bases clearing double to bring in three runs.
The Hawkeyes added an insurance run in the third inning after Carter reached on a fielders choice, Peek was hit by a pitch, DoniRae Mayhew drew a walk, and Klosterman singled up the middle to allow Carter to score. Nebraska scored their only run of the game in the sixth inning after a single, an error, and a single.
The Hawkeyes got on the board first inning with a Loecker double and RBI single by Burns. Iowa added two more runs in the third when Klosterman was hit by a pitch, Loecker drew a walk, and Grace Banes and Carter hit back-to-back RBI singles. One more Hawkeye run would cross the plate in the fourth inning after Hamilton doubled and Klosterman drove her home with a single. Nebraska got on the board with a solo home run in the sixth inning.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“I would say I was most impressed with our defense. Going from where we were yesterday, and how we looked yesterday to making that adjustment. Having the solid defense was fantastic to see. We have had strong defense all season long. We had a little breakdown yesterday and it could have gone either way. They showed up today. Banes had some great plays at shortstop, and Peek was able to throw out that runner. We saw some moments there where they came up with big plays, so I was really proud of the defense. Doocy had a great game and Sarah kept us in that game, and Shaw was able to close for us. Got some key hits when we needed too.”
- With the win in Game 2 the Hawkeyes assured that they will finish with a winning record in Big Ten play for the first time since 2012.
- The 23 conference wins sets a program record for Big Ten wins in a season. The 1997 team was 22-0 in Big Ten play.
- Allison Doocy has allowed only two runs over her last four starts.
- Freshmen Denali Loecker and Brylee Klosterman led the way for the Hawkeyes on the weekend. Loecker hit .455 with three RBIs, and Klosterman hit .400 with four RBIs.
The Hawkeyes host Illinois in a four-game series to wrap up the regular season May 14-16.