By James Geerdes
Iowa softball failed to score runners against Purdue in Game 2 of its series with the Boilermakers. The Hawkeyes couldn’t seem to bounce back after a backward first inning.
The Boilermakers made the most of their first at-bat. They struck early with a 2-run RBI single to right center field. Douglas sent a ball towards the warning track and centerfielder Allie Wood was able to get a glove on it, but the ball bounced out and hit off the wall.
Doocy’s stint in the circle was brief. She pitched just 2 outs before Erin Riding took over duties. In just her fifth pitch of the game, Riding left a pitch over the middle which was turned on and sent over the left field wall by Kenny to extend Purdue’s lead to 4-0.
Riding walked the next batter and hit the following. Head coach Marla Looper had seen enough and brought in left-hander Lauren Shaw to pitch. With 2 outs, Shaw forced a lineout to centerfield to end Purdue’s half of the inning.
Iowa put two runners on in the bottom of the first inning but was unable to score. Shaw allowed a leadoff single in the top of the second, then struck out the next batter. On the final swing, the runner on first attempted to steal second but Angela Schmiederer’s throw beat the runner to the bag. A final groundout brought the Hawkeyes to the plate.
Iowa failed to score in its half.
Shaw started to mix in her off speed in the top of the third inning. She forced a fly out, a strikeout looking, and a groundout for a quick inning.
The Hawkeyes started to string together hits in the bottom of the third. Schmiederer earned a leadoff walk and Wood added her second single of the day after going down, 0-2. Taylor Libby popped out for the Iowa’s first out, but Mallory Killian found a gap for a line drive single to left field to load the bases. Lea Thompson grounded to the pitcher for the second out and Bogar lined out to the first baseman to end the inning.
Shaw shined again in the top of the fourth. She forced two groundouts and struck out Purdue’s final batter to quickly end the inning. Iowa had another quick inning in the box in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, Iowa errors and mental mistakes started to build on each other. Aralee Bogar rushed a slow roller and made and fielded it cleanly but threw wide of the first basemen to send the runner to second base. A single to left field put runners on first and second. Bogar bobbled another ball hit to her to load the bases. A chopper hit to second base bounced off Thompson’s knee to score two Purdue runners.
With runners on first and third, another groundball was hit to Bogar, who fielded it cleanly and fired to first for the first out of the inning, but another Purdue run scored to bring the score to 7-0. Purdue added another run with an infield single after a line drive bounced off Shaw’s glove.
Another infield single that bounced off the glove of third baseman Daniella Ibarra scored another runner. With runners on first and second, a ball was hit to Thompson, who tried to tag the runner but missed, then tried to throw to first but was a step behind the runner. Iowa finally snagged its second out with a groundball to Mallory Killian at first base, who stepped on the bag but allowed another runner to cross. Iowa finally found its way out of the inning with a ground out to shortstop, but not before Purdue crossed five more runners, each of which was unearned.
Iowa started to answer in the bottom of the fifth. Schmiederer tagged a single up the middle to lead off the inning and Wood added her third hit of the game with a double laced to left field. Iowa quickly lost momentum, however, when Libby struck out swinging and Mallory Killian popped out to the third baseman. Pinch hitter Devin Cantu worked a walk. With two outs and bases loaded, freshman Aralee Bogar struck out looking.
Purdue walked away with a 9-0 mercy rule win. Iowa finished with 7 hits compared to Purdue’s 8. The closing game of the series will be played Sunday at 1 p.m.