By anna kayser
Iowa softball returns from Nebraska with a different looking order at the plate and one more conference win.
The Hawkeyes took the first game of a doubleheader, 2-1, but fell in the second, 3-0, because of a dearth of clutch hits.
Heading into the doubleheader, coach Marla Looper decided to shake up her lineup.
Against Wisconsin the weekend before, it was pretty much set. Mallory Kilian started at the top of the order, followed by Sarah Kurtz, Allie Wood, and DH Taylor Libby. McKenzie Schneider came in at No. 5, an attribute to her recent power, followed by Aralee Bogar, Angela Schmiederer, Lea Thompson, and Cheyenne Pratt.
For the first game of the doubleheader, Looper went with her speed demons at the top. Thompson was followed by Bogar, with Wood and Libby holding steady at 3 and 4. Kilian dropped to fifth, with Schneider, Schmiederer, and Pratt trailing. Kurtz, who was 1-for-7 against Wisconsin, dropped to the bottom.
The new Hawkeye lineup recorded 4 hits on the way to a 2-1 victory against the Cornhuskers to start the day.
Iowa began the scoring in the second inning, facing Nebraska’s best pitcher. A double by Libby started the inning, and two batters later, she came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Schneider.
Nebraska used power to its advantage in the fourth, sending a ball over the fence to tie the game.
In the sixth, the top of the order speed paid off. Thompson singled and went first to third on Bogar’s follow-up single to right. The next batter, Wood, sent a fly ball to center, allowing Thompson to tag and score the game-winning run.
Hawkeye sophomore Allison Doocy on the mound kept the game close. She allowed 3 hits and recorded 5 strikeouts in another complete game.
The lineup didn’t shift much for the second game. Kilian was back in her leadoff spot, and Kurtz moved up to No. 7.
Nebraska took the lead in the fourth inning behind 3 singles. Two innings later, an Iowa error and a double put the Cornhuskers up by 2.
Iowa was unable to put together a rally and fell, 3-0. Despite the lack of scoring, the Hawkeyes collected 6 hits.
“We had chances throughout the second game to get runners across, but unfortunately, Nebraska did a good job of playing defense, and they held us at bay,” Looper said in a release.
Freshman Lauren Shaw pitched 5 innings in the circle, with Doocy coming in for her in the sixth. Only 1 run was earned, and it was attributed to Shaw.
“Across the board, [Tuesday] was about the pitching,” Looper said in a release. “Neither team produced a lot of offense. Doocy did a nice job in the first game, and Shaw was rolling pretty good in the second. You have to tip your hat to all of the pitchers.”
The big takeaway from the two come-from-behind Wisconsin victories was the energy surrounding the team.
A lack of energy away from home cost the Hawkeyes the second game.
“I didn’t feel like our energy was very good in Game 2, and we didn’t stick to our game plan very well,” Looper said in a release.