Iowa softball falls in extra innings to No. 20 Northwestern
Northwestern scores five runs in 10th inning to prevail 8-3 at Pearl Field
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team fell in extra innings to No. 20 Northwestern in game one of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon (8-3, 10 innings).
Senior Breanna Vasquez (11-3) went the distance, throwing nine innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out 10.
Freshman Tory Bennett and junior Sammy Diaz each had two hits. Diaz finished the day going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Northwestern jumped out in front early plating one run in the top of the first on a sac fly. Vasquez worked around Wildcat runners in the second and third to keep the score, 1-0. She went three-up, three-down with two strikeouts in the fourth inning.
Juniors Denali Loecker and Grace Banes both drew walks in the home half of the fourth, and the Hawkeyes were able to tie it on an RBI double from Diaz. Vasquez retired Northwestern in order, once again, in the fifth. The Wildcats retook the lead, 2-1, in the sixth on a two-out home run from their five-hole hitter. Iowa responded in the bottom half with an RBI single from freshman Anna Streff to tie it 2-2. The Hawkeyes had a chance to end it in the seventh, getting runners on first and second, but both were stranded.
Northwestern was able to get runners on first and third with one out in the top of the eighth and took the lead, 3-2, on an RBI single. Iowa fought back in the bottom of the inning as Diaz led off with a single and the pinch runner, Avery Jackson, got to third on a sac bunt from Streff. Jackson scored and tied the contest on a sac fly from senior Nia Carter.
Both teams went quietly in the ninth. The Wildcats got a leadoff walk to start the 10th, and that is when Iowa made a pitching change and brought in Loecker. Northwestern ended up plating five runs on four hits and one Iowa error. Iowa got a one-out baserunner in the home half of the 10th, but that was it as Northwestern closed out the game.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“That is a tough loss against a really good Northwestern team. I am so proud of how Bre has been able to pitch thus far in the season. When she is in the circle, she puts us in a position to win each time. Leaving 13 runners on base hurt us. We need to figure out a way to get those runs in.”
- This was Iowa’s sixth extra-inning game of the season (2-4).
- Vasquez threw a season-high nine innings.
- Vasquez had her second double-digit strikeout performance (10).
Iowa (21-14, 3-3) returns to action on Sunday for a doubleheader against No. 20 Northwestern at Pearl Field. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon (CT). Both games will be broadcast on B1G+ and Hawkeye Sports Radio.