Feb. 21, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The University of Iowa managed just one hit and two base runners, dropping the first game of the weekend to Mississippi State, 2-0, on Friday afternoon. The Hawkeyes are 3-7 after the loss, while the Bulldogs (12-0) remain undefeated in 2014.
Mississippi State starting pitcher Alison Owen kept the Hawkeye offense quiet with 11 strikeouts in her seven innings pitched, and received the run support she needed to secure the final win in the circle to move to 6-0 on the season.
Hawkeye starter Kayla Massey (1-5) held the Bulldogs to four hits in her complete game effort, but one solid swing made the difference between the win and the loss for the senior.
Following a scoreless first and second innings, the Bulldogs strung together a single and a Sam Lenahan home run to center field to pull ahead of the Hawkeyes, 2-0.
"Kayla threw well," head coach Marla Looper said. "Yes, we gave up the one long ball after a hit to right, but in the rest of the game she got us the groundouts and fly outs that we needed. Other than that one pitch, she had a great performance today. I wish we could have put more hits up that could have manufactured a few runs to give her a different result."
Megan Blank ruined Owen's no-hit bid when she opened the top of the fourth inning with a double to the wall in left center. It marked the first double and second extra base hit for Blank this year. The Bulldog defense ended the Iowa scoring opportunity with a ground out, strikeout and fly out.
The Mississippi State defense retired the final nine Iowa batters in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to put its 12th-straight win in the books, 2-0.
Blank recorded the lone hit for the Hawkeyes, and Claire Fritsch reached base with a walk in the top of the third inning.
"We need to step in the box with no fear and not doubt ourselves," Looper said. "They started guessing and made it more difficult rather than see ball, hit ball. If we put base runners on, we can make things happen. When you have two base runners in a game it's hard to make things happen.
"Fortunately, we get another day to come out and face this same ball club. We'll probably see similar hitters and a different pitcher on the mound. They'll be a new team and we'll be a new team. Hopefully tomorrow we can go through the right process that can let us be the victors."
Iowa and Mississippi State will meet for the second game of the series at 3 p.m. (CT) on Saturday. Livestats are available at hawkeyesports.com, and a live video feed can be viewed for a fee at hailstate.com.
|Mississippi State 2, Iowa 0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Mississippi State (12-0)||0||0||2||0||0||0||X||2||4||0|
|W: Owen (MSTATE) 6-0|
|L: Massey (IOWA) 1-5|