Iowa Wins in Extras for 2nd-Straight Day
May 4, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Iowa softball team defeated Purdue, 2-0, in eight innings on Saturday at the Boilermaker Softball Complex in the middle game of its final regular season series. Iowa clinches the series victory with its second-straight extra-inning win in West Lafayette. The Hawkeyes won the opener Friday, 4-3, in nine innings.
The Hawkeyes have won four-straight games, and five of their last seven overall. Iowa improves to 29-23 and 7-15 in Big Ten play; Purdue falls to 22-30 and 8-14 in conference action. The 29th victory marks the most for Iowa since finishing 42-16 in 2009.
"We did a nice job of continuing to grit it out," said UI head coach Marla Looper. "Our defense, and Kayla (Massey) in the circle, did a nice job until we were able to put some runs up. It was nice to come out with the win today."
After seven scoreless innings, Iowa broke through in the top of the eighth. Megan Blank opened the frame with her second-straight single. After a dropped foul ball by the Boilermakers, Michelle Zoeller smacked a double past the centerfielder to plate Blank from first. With one away, Indiana native Holly Hoffman roped a double to left center to score Zoeller and give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
"Michelle zeroed in and knew she had to hit the ball solid, and she did, as did Holly coming up after her," said Looper. "We tried to make some adjustments against (Purdue starter) Fecho throughout the game. She throws a nice rise ball, and we had been getting under it. That inning we finally got through the ball to give ourselves an opportunity."
Hawkeye starter Kayla Massey blanked the Boilermaker offense, tossing a complete game shutout. The junior scattered five hits in eight innings, moving to 16-12. She has thrown 24 complete games in 29 starts this season, and the 16 wins mark a new career high.
Of the 24 Boilermaker outs, Massey coaxed 20 groundouts, three strikeouts and one flyout.
"She did a nice job," said Looper about Massey's outing. "She pounded the zone early and then was able to handcuff them and get the groundball outs. The defense played well behind her and we were able to hold them off."
Lilly Fecho took the loss for the Boilermakers, allowing two runs in seven and a third.
Iowa out-hit Purdue, 8-5, and moves to 22-4 when recording more hits than its opponents. Blank (2-for-4), Sammi Gyerman (2-for-4) and Erin Erickson (2-for-3) all equaled game highs with two hits. Erickson, who made her fifth start at first base, notched 19 putouts, marking Iowa's individual single-game high this season.
The Hawkeyes, 4-0 this season in extra innings, will go for the sweep in the series and regular season finale on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon (CT) at the Boilermaker Softball Complex.