By Anna Kayser
On a cold, winter-like day in April, the Iowa softball team swept Wisconsin after narrowly avoiding defeat to finish the doubleheader at Pearl Field.
All aspects of the Hawkeye squad shone April 7, albeit in two separate games.
To begin the first, sophomore Allison Doocy stepped on the rubber. Her day depended on the offense showing up, and it did.
In the bottom of the second, the scoring began. Catcher Angela Schmiederer knocked a single up the middle to score shortstop Aralee Bogar.
Two innings later, Bogar crossed home plate for the second time on a base hit by left fielder Cheyenne Pratt, increasing Iowa’s lead to 2.
The Badgers could not catch up to Doocy, and the Hawkeyes tallied another run on consecutive hits by center fielder Allie Wood and designated player Taylor Libby. The scoring ended there, with Iowa snatching the first game, 3-0.
Doocy, in typical Doocy fashion, struck out12 in a 1-hit shutout.
“We were just doing what we could to make the pitches work, and when they did hit the ball, my defense was there to back me up,” she said. “We were holding them, and our team was hitting the ball, getting some runs on the board, and so that made it easy for our side.”
The excitement didn’t stop there, however.
Freshman Lauren Shaw took over in the circle to start the second game.
Wisconsin grabbed a lead in the first inning, then the game remained quiet on both sides until the sixth. A towering home run over the center field scoreboard added another to the Badger lead, and the Hawkeyes were left facing a 3-run deficit.
In the bottom of the seventh, the adjustments Iowa made in the batter’s box started to pay off. Hawkeye right fielder McKenzie Schneider led off the inning with a line drive home run over the right field fence. Bogar then reached on a single and came around to score on a double by Schmiederer, continuing the Iowa rally.
“Being the lead-off in the seventh inning when we’re down, it is my job to get on and lead off the inning,” Schneider said. “I was really just going into it, clearing my mind and really just wanting to get on for my team.”
Two singles later — by second baseman Lea Thompson and pinch hitter Devin Cantu — the Hawkeyes tied the score. With runners in scoring position and no outs, Iowa was at the top of its lineup and had one of its best hitters stepping up to the plate: first baseman Mallory Kilian.
Kilian sent a fly into left field that was just deep enough for the speedy Thompson to tag up and race home safely for the walk-off win.
“Honestly, I don’t even think I ran to first,” Kilian said. “I just automatically went home and saw right away that I knew she was going to be safe, she had a good jump on it, so yeah, it was exciting.”
Iowa will face off against Wisconsin for the series finale on at 1 p.m. April 8.