Iowa softball falls to Iowa State 7-4 at Pearl Field
By Tommy Lang
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Wednesday’s CyHawk Series matchup between the Iowa and Iowa State softball teams started promisingly enough for the Hawkeyes, but the night soon turned to disaster as Iowa fell to the Cyclones, 7-4, at Pearl Field.
Things were looking up when ISU starter Tatum Johnson was pulled with the bases loaded with one out in first inning. Iowa first baseman Sammy Diaz knocked in one of the runners in her ensuing at-bat, with another run crossing the plate on a throwing error.
But Iowa State scored the next seven runs in the game to take the all-time lead in the CyHawk softball series 9-8-1.
Prior to Wednesday, Iowa had been 11-0 on the season when scoring in the first inning.
Iowa’s third run came on a wild pitch in the sixth inning. The fourth came on a Diaz RBI single in the 9th, scoring Brylee Klosterman.
Cyclone leadoff hitter Milaysia Ochoa was the Hawkeye killer on the day, going 2-2 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored.
It was a bittersweet game for Iowa starting pitcher Breanna Vasquez, who recorded her 400th career strikeout while also being tabbed with the loss after giving up three earned runs in her two innings pitched.
Iowa head Coach Renee Gillispie tweaked the lineup on Wednesday, batting usual leadoff hitter Nia Carter third while putting Klosterman at the top of the order.
“I like the new changeup that we had, and you saw the adjustments that we made,” Gillispie said. “Brylee did a great job in the one spot. Nia…again…we love to have her in the three spot, being able to provide some RBI’s. Sammy did a nice job…having some good hits.”
Carter agreed. “It always depends on the situation how I want to hit,” Cater said of adjusting to the lineup change. “My approach pretty much stayed the same.”
The three Hawkeye runs tripled what Iowa scored in its three previous games combined and 23 innings at Minnesota last weekend.
Gillispie said she was told the estimated 1,250 fans in attendance was an over 10-year high for a home Iowa softball game.
“We need to do a home-and-home (with Iowa State),” Gillespie said after the game. “We draw a great crowd when we’re up there, and they draw a great crowd when they’re down here.
“So, we’re looking at in the future probably doing a home-and-home series with each other.”
Iowa has now lost four games in a row and falls to 28-21 on the season. The Hawkeyes will try to get back on the winning track Friday afternoon when they host Rutgers in the first game of a three-game series.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Pearl Field.