EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa softball team swept its Sunday doubleheader against Michigan State at Secchia Stadium. The Hawkeyes took game one (4-2) and the nightcap (3-1) to secure the series sweep.
Freshman Jalen Adams (6-9) got the ball in game one of the doubleheader. She threw a complete game allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four. Seven Hawkeyes recorded a hit in the contest, led by senior Nia Carter who went 2-for-4.
Senior Breanna Vasquez (13-3) started game two of the afternoon. She went five innings allowing one run on seven hits and striking out six. Junior Denali Loecker picked up her fifth save of the season going two innings allowing no runs on one hit. Freshman Tory Bennett finished the game going 3-for-4 with and junior Brylee Klosterman went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Carter finished the day going 4-for-7 with two RBIs and one run scored.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Adams made quick work of the Spartans in the first inning, needing just four pitches to get three outs. Through the first two innings there was one baserunner between the two teams. The Spartans had a one-out hit by pitch in the second, but Adams left her stranded to end the inning.
Michigan State led off the bottom of the third with a single for the first hit of the game by either team. She came around to score on a bloop single to left as the Spartans took their first lead of the series, 1-0.
Carter led off the fourth inning with a hard-hit single to left field for the Hawkeyes’ first hit. Sophomore Tatianna Roman reached on a Spartan error to get runners on first and second with no outs. The Michigan State pitcher went on to strikeout the next three Hawkeyes to end the inning. In the home half of the fourth, Adams was able to work around a one-out hit batter to keep the score 1-0.
Klosterman had a two-out double to straight away center in the top of the fifth. She came around to score on an RBI single from freshman Anna Streff as the Hawkeyes tied the game. The Spartans retook the lead (2-1) on a solo home run in the bottom of the inning.
Roman got things going in the top of the sixth with a single up the middle. She was able to get to third, with one out in the inning, and came around to score on a single from junior Grace Banes. Junior Sammy Diaz followed that up with a double in the left center gap to give Iowa a 3-2 lead. Three straight hits loaded the bases for the Hawkeyes with one out. Iowa got its third run of the inning on an RBI ground out from Klosterman to extend its lead to two.
Michigan State got two runners on in the bottom of sixth, but Adams was able to get out of the jam and preserve the Iowa advantage. In the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans were held to a single.
Through the first four innings, Iowa had just one hit. In the final three frames, the Hawkeyes put together eight hits to score four runs.
The Hawkeyes jumped in front early on an RBI double from Bennett to take the 1-0 lead in the first inning. Iowa loaded the bases with one out but were unable to bring any more runs around. Klosterman led off the second with a triple and came around to score on a sac fly from Carter.
Vasquez sat the Spartans down in order in the second with three strikeouts. In the third, Michigan State got runners on the corners with two outs, but Vasquez was able to induce a popup to end the inning. Iowa got two runners on in the fourth but left them both stranded keeping its lead to two. Vasquez stranded a Spartan baserunner as she picked up her sixth strikeout of the game to end the fourth.
Michigan State got back-to-back singles in the fifth with two outs, but once again Vasquez shut the door and left them stranded as the inning ended. Klosterman hit a one-out double to the wall in the sixth inning. Carter continued her weekend tear with an RBI single to extend the Iowa lead to 3-0. The Spartans got on the board with a solo home run to start the home half of the sixth.
Iowa ended the game with three runs on nine hits and no errors.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH RENEE GILLISPIE
“This series sweep was huge for us as we go into the second half of Big Ten play. We are seeing our production with runners on improving and that is what need to win games. We are happy to be heading back to Iowa with three wins.”
HEAR FROM THE STUDENT-ATHLETES
“I just kept telling myself to keep it simple and eventually the hits would start to fall. It was big for us to get the sweep this weekend and stay in a good place in the conference. We have our eyes set on making the conference tournament and we need to continue to take care of business each weekend.” – Bennett
“I’m incredibly proud of the team for coming out with the sweep today. It’s not always an easy thing to do especially when we are on the road, but we made sure to play our game and stay focused. I didn’t realize that I was close to 200 hits, so it was a great surprise to see after the game. I’m proud of this accomplishment but I couldn’t do it without the help of the coaches and my teammates always cheering me on. We’re not done yet and I am excited to see how far we’ll go this season.” – Carter
- Banes extended her on-base streak to 13 games.
- Carter now ranks 12th for career hits at Iowa (201).
- Vasquez surpassed 100 strikeouts on the season (102).
- This was Iowa’s first Big Ten series sweep since sweeping Rutgers in 2021.
Iowa (25-15, 7-4) returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to Des Moines, Iowa, to face Drake. First pitch at Buel Field is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT). The game will be streamed on ESPN+ (subscription required) and broadcast on Hawkeye Radio Network.
— Iowa Softball (@iowasoftball) April 9, 2023