Feb. 7, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In its second game of opening day, the University of Iowa softball team fell to Carolina Classic host South Carolina, 1-0. The loss gives the Hawkeyes a 1-1 mark, as the squad earned a 5-0 win over UNC Greensboro earlier in the afternoon.
The Hawkeyes and Gamecocks traded zeroes in the first, second, and third innings as starting pitcher Kayla Massey battled it out with South Carolina starter Nickie Blue. Massey held the Gamecocks to two base runners and struck out two looking at strike three in the three-inning stretch.
In the fourth, South Carolina used a one-out Kaylea Snaer solo homerun to break the scoreless tie for an advantage, but the Hawkeyes limited the damage, ending the inning with a Massey strikeout and a groundout to Claire Fritsch at second base.
The Hawkeyes had runners on first and third following a Sammi Gyerman walk and a Whitney Repole single in the top of the fifth, and opted to put Haley Hansel in as a pinch runner for Repole at first. Hansel took off for second and drew the catcher's attention, but the throw back to the plate caught Gyerman before she could touch home on the first and third play.
Iowa had another scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth when Erin Erickson and Michelle Zoeller reached on back-to-back throwing errors, but the Gamecocks retired the next three batters of the inning to keep the Hawkeyes scoreless.
South Carolina finalized its 1-0 win after retiring Iowa in order in the top of the seventh.
"The things that killed us were the controllibles," head coach Marla Looper said. "Those are the things that hurt us. Kayla gave up a large hit, but then we settled down and got out of it. There are areas that we need to get better in and those areas cost us the ball game today.
"We had some good fight, we had opportunities late, and we did a nice job holding them to one run. The outcome is just not what we wanted."
Blue earned her first win of the season after tossing a three-hitter in her five innings of work, while Massey was tagged with her first loss of the year. Erickson, Repole and Alyssa Navarro each notched a hit for the Hawkeyes and went 1-for-3 at the plate.
Iowa is back in action Saturday night with a single game against Presbyterian at 4 p.m. (CT). Fans can follow along with Gametracker at hawkeyesports.com.