University of Minnesota softball player Alex Velazquez makes contact with the ball during a game against the University of Iowa on Thursday, Apr. 12, 2018. The Gophers defeated the Hawkeyes 8-0. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Minnesota bats light up Pearl Field

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Iowa found itself on the wrong end of a series sweep after dropping two games to Minnesota.

By James Gee

Iowa digs itself into the wrong end of a series sweep after dropping two games to Minnesota.

By James Geerdes

james-geerdes@uiowa.edu

Minnesota’s hitting took over Pearl Field in Iowa’s three-game series with their neighbors to the north April 12-13.

To start the series, the Gophers posted 9 hits and 8 runs to win via the mercy rule in the first game, 8-0. Iowa’s ace pitcher Allison Doocy was pulled after five innings.

Following that pummeling, Minnesota came back on April 13 to do it twice more.

With the threat of rain looming, Doocy took to the circle in the first game of the doubleheader.

Minnesota’s bats continued to impress everyone in attendance, even against Doocy, the Big Ten’s No. 2 pitcher in ERA.

Iowa led the game, 1-0, going into the seventh inning. The Hawkeyes’ lone run came in the fourth inning when McKenzie Schneider reached on an error by the Gophers’ shortstop, bringing in Mallory Kilian, who was on third.

Errors failed to play in Iowa’s favor for the rest of the evening. In the top of the seventh inning, a ground ball bounced off the glove of shortstop Aralee Bogar and scored Minnesota’s Makenna Partain, who had knocked a double to left-center off Doocy. The error sent the game into extra innings.

After a quiet eighth, Minnesota exploded in the top of the ninth and rattled off 5 runs on 3 hits and 2 Hawkeye errors to jump out front, 6-1.

Iowa failed to answer in the bottom of the inning but tried to battle. The Hawkeyes saw 3 of their 8 hits fall in their last inning, which scored 1 runner. Minnesota closed the game and won, 6-2.

It could have been worse for the Hawkeyes. Iowa pitching stranded 11 Gopher runners in the opener.

Game Three had more of the Iowa battle fans saw in the team’s final at-bat in the first game.

Minnesota’s effective bats against Doocy earned Lauren Shaw the start in the circle in the final game of the series.

The Gophers tagged 3 runs on Shaw in the top of first after she allowed a single, back-to-back doubles, and another single.

The Hawkeyes pushed across their first run in the bottom of the second inning when an Alex Rath single was followed by a Minnesota error on a ball hit by Bogar, which put Rath on third. Bogar stole second and the Minnesota catcher threw to the right of the bag, which allowed Rath to score on the muffed throw.

Shaw held the Gophers at bay in the third inning, but they strung 4 hits together in the top of the fourth off of Iowa’s freshman pitcher. A double, an error, 2 singles, a double, an error, and another double, in that order, brought in 6 Minnesota runs.

Head coach Marla Looper handed over pitching duties to senior Kenzie Ihle, who was able to stop the bleeding.

“I was proud of Shaw and what she did,” Looper said. “Ihle did a good job coming in relief. You leave a couple over the plate that you can’t afford to leave over the plate, and it looks worse than it really is.”

Minnesota tallied 2 more runs in the top of the fifth inning when Kendyl Lindaman connected on an Ihle pitch over the middle and sent it over the left field wall for a 2-run homer.

The Hawkeyes were unable to score in the bottom of the inning and suffered their second mercy rule loss of the series.

“I’d like to think the team is heartbroken, a little bit,” Looper said. “The nice thing is that we have an opportunity to get better, prepare, and we just have to take care of business and take care of us.”

rdes

james-geerdes@uiowa.edu

Minnesota’s hitting took over Pearl Field in Iowa’s three-game series with their neighbors to the North.

To start the weekend, the Gophers posted 9 hits and 8 runs to win via Mercy Rule in Game One, 8-0. Iowa’s ace pitcher Allison Doocy was pulled after 5 innings in the first game of the series.

Following the Iowa pummeling, Minnesota came back on day two to do it twice more on Friday.

With the threat of rain looming, Doocy took to the circle in Game Two of the series and the first game of Friday’s double header.

Minnesota’s bats continued to impress, even against Doocy, the Big Ten’s No. 2 pitcher in ERA.

Iowa led Friday’s opening game, 1-0, going into the seventh inning. The Hawkeyes’ lone run came in the fourth inning when McKenzie Schneider reached on an error by the Gophers’ shortstop. The error brought in Mallory Killian, who was on third.

Errors failed to play in Iowa’s favor for the rest of the evening. In the top of the seventh inning, a ground ball bounced off the glove of shortstop Aralee Bogar scored Minnesota’s Makenna Partain, who knocked a double to left-center off of Doocy. The error sent the game into extra innings.

After a quiet eighth, Minnesota exploded in the top of the ninth and rattled off 5 runs off of 3 hits and 2 Hawkeye errors to jump out front, 6-1.

Iowa failed to answer in the bottom of the inning, but seemed to battle. The Hawkeyes saw 3 of their 8 hits fall in their last inning, which scored 1 runner. Minnesota closed the game and won, 6-2.

It could have been worse for the Hawkeyes. Iowa pitching stranded 11 Gopher runners in Friday’s opener.

Game Three held more of the Iowa battle fans saw in the team’s final at-bat in the first game.

Minnesota’s effective bats against Doocy earned Lauren Shaw the start in the circle in the final game of the series.

The Gophers tagged 3 runs on Shaw in the top of first inning after she allowed a single, back-to-back doubles, and another single.

Iowa added their first run in the bottom of the second inning when an Alex Rath singled was followed with a Minnesota error on a ball hit by Bogar, which put Rath on third. Bogar stole second and the Minnesota catcher threw to the right of the bag, which prompted Rath to score on the muffled throw.

Shaw held the Gophers in the third inning, but they strung four hits together in the top of the fourth off of Iowa’s freshman pitcher. A double, an error, 2 singles, a double, an error, and another double in that order, brought in 6 Minnesota runs.

Head coach Marla Looper handed over pitching duties to senior Kenzie Ihle, who was able to stop the Iowa bleeding.

“I was proud of what Shaw and what she did,” Looper said. “Ihle did a good job coming in out of relief. You leave a couple over the plate that you can’t afford to leave over the plate, and it looks worse than it really is.”

Minnesota tallied 2 more runs in the top of the fifth inning when Lindaman connected on an Ihle pitch over the middle and sent it over the left field wall for a 2-run homerun.

The Hawkeyes were unable to score in the bottom of the inning, and suffered their second Mercy Rule loss of the series.

“I’d like to think the team is heartbroken, a little bit,” Looper said. “The nice thing is that we have an opportunity to get better, prepare, and we just have to take care of business and take care of us.”

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