By Anna Kayser
Even with the game starting at 35 degrees and ending with snow, the cold couldn’t stop Iowa softball’s hot bats, and the Hawkeyes notched a 5-3 win against Wisconsin for a series sweep at Pearl Field on Sunday.
The previous afternoon, the Hawkeyes overcome the Badgers by making adjustments at the plate in both games of a doubleheader. In the first game, Iowa’s offense scored 3 runs to back a 1-hit pitching gem by sophomore Allison Doocy. In the second game, the Iowa bats came alive on the brink of defeat, erupting for 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a walk-off win.
In the third game of the weekend, Wisconsin took the lead early by plating 2 in the first, and Iowa faced a similar situation to the day before. Doocy was on the mound, and the bats would have to adjust for a comeback.
Center fielder Allie Wood started the Hawkeye scoring in the bottom of the third inning. To lead off, the senior sent her third homer of the season over the right-center fence.
Three batters later, shortstop Aralee Bogar drove a pitch over the center-field fence for her first-ever home run.
“I was just trying to hit a line drive like I did [in my first at bat],” Bogar said. “When I was rounding first base, I didn’t see the ball anymore, and so it went over, and I was just ecstatic. It’s crazy to not have to sprint — even though I did sprint around the bases — I didn’t have to, so that was interesting.”
The game remained tied until the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first, a hard-hit single past third baseman Sarah Kurtz went into the outfield corner, and Wisconsin hopped back on top, 3-2.
Iowa’s offense didn’t give up. In the bottom of the sixth, a hit-by-pitch followed by a drop-in single put two runners on for catcher Angela Schmiederer. On her fifth pitch of the at-bat, she sent a line drive straight down the left-field line and over the fence for her first home run of the season.
Wisconsin attempted a comeback, but with Doocy on the mound, it was unable to score. Iowa secured the sweep with a ground ball back to the pitcher to win, 5-3.
Doocy finished the game giving up 9 hits and 3 earned runs, notching 6 strikeouts and 4 walks.
The offense was able to power in the runs needed to win, all on home runs.
“I think we were just seeing the ball,” Schmiederer said. “We prepared all week for their pitchers, and I think we’re just believing in that process, and we’re doing it, so it’s exciting.”
Prior to facing Wisconsin, Iowa came out of Maryland having been swept because of a dearth of offense.
The program’s process involves making adjustments when the approach isn’t paying off, something the offense did not only in Sunday’s game but in the previous two games as well.
“I think in the last week and a half, we’ve made some minor adjustments and they haven’t been big enough to make that big challenge to the opponent by squaring balls up,” head coach Marla Looper said. “That was really our focus coming into [this weekend].”