Zoeller Walk-Off Ends Wisconsin Streak
March 29, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa softball team defeated Wisconsin, 2-1, on a walk-off home run by Michelle Zoeller in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday evening at Pearl Field, ending the Badgers' 13-game winning streak. Wisconsin won the second game of the doubleheader, 8-0, in five innings.
"It was really nice," said UI head coach Marla Looper about the walk-off home run. "I saw Michelle's eyes zero in. I knew she was going to make something happen."
The Hawkeyes scored the first run of the doubleheader with a sacrifice fly by Bradi Wall in the bottom of the third in game one, scoring Brianna Luna. Wisconsin evened up the contest with a solo home run off the bat of Stefannie Lajeunesse in the bottom of the fifth.
With one away in the ninth, Zoeller stepped to the dish and launched a solo shot over the fence in left to give Iowa the extra-inning victory and halt the Badgers' winning streak at 13 games. Zoeller became the first Hawkeye to hit a walk-off home run against Wisconsin since senior Colleen McGlaughlin walked-off against the Badgers in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory on May 6, 2009. It marked Zoeller's first home run of the season, and second of her career.
"I was really trying to put the ball in play," said Zoeller. "It looked pretty good off the bat and I had a good feeling about it. It was my first home run; it was fun."
Kayla Massey enjoyed another impressive outing, earning the win to move to 10-6. The junior tossed nine complete innings, allowing one run on seven hits. She struck out two Badgers.
Iowa handed Wisconsin starter Cassandra Darrah her second loss of the season. She allowed two runs on seven hits in eight and a third, falling to 15-2 on the year.
Two big innings and a solid performance inside the circle by Wisconsin starter Meghan Mcintosh downed the Hawkeyes in the nightcap.
The Badgers pushed across three runs in the second and added a five-spot in the fifth. Mcintosh (7-2) allowed no runs on two hits in five innings.
Lyon took the loss for the Hawkeyes, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits in four and two-thirds. Freshman Micaela Whitney pitched a third of an inning in relief.
"We let mistakes get us back on our heels in the second game," said Looper. "We tried to force a few things that weren't there. They had three runs, but that is a lead we can come back from. We have done it before. We started thinking too much."
Iowa (20-12, 1-4) and Wisconsin (26-4, 4-1) will meet in the rubber match on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Pearl Field.