MADISON, Wis. — The University of Iowa softball team dropped a 6-5, 10-inning decision to Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Goodman Diamond. With the victory, the Badgers won the series 2-1.
“I can’t say enough about the fight in this group,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “That’s really all that needs to be said about this game. They continued to fight, scrap, claw, and grind throughout that game. I’m proud of my young ladies. We came out as a team, put forth a great effort, never gave up, and had the chance to win that game both in regulation and then again in the ninth inning.”
Four Hawkeyes had multiple hits in game three against the Badgers (25-7, 4-5 Big Ten). Cheyenne Pratt was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI, Kaitlyn Mullarkey was 3-for-5 with an RBI, Brooke Rozier was 2-for-3, and Lea Thompson was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Angela Schmiederer had a hit and scored two runs, while Claire Fritsch also chipped in a hit.
Shayla Starkenburg suffered the loss, throwing two strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched.
With the score knotted 4-4 in the top of the ninth, the Hawkeyes took the lead. Schmiederer walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mallory Kilian, moved to third on a Pratt single, and scored as Fritsch hit an RBI single to left field.
The Badgers matched the run in the bottom of the frame when Jordan Little scored as Gabby Scherle reached on a fielder’s choice. Wisconsin added the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning on a Brooke Wyderski RBI single.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Hawkeyes took the lead in the top of the third. Thompson singled to center field before scoring on a Mullarkey double to right center. The Badgers responded in the bottom of the inning with a Chloe Miller two-RBI home run over center field.
Wisconsin added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring on a Melanie Cross RBI double and a Stephanie Lombardo RBI single.
Trailing 4-1, Iowa drew even with the Badgers in the top of the sixth frame. Rozier singled to right field and McKenzie Schneider entered as a pinch runner. Schneider advanced to second as Schmiederer was hit by a pitch before scoring on a Pratt single to first base. Schmiederer then scored as Katy Taylor reached first on a fielder’s choice. Pratt evened the game, scoring on a Thompson RBI single to the pitcher and sending the game to extra innings.
“We will regroup and we won’t get our heads down,” said Looper. “We fought all the way through this game. I’m proud of these young ladies. We will get back on the horse Tuesday and drive to UNI.
“We have a big week, starting with UNI on Tuesday. Then we have a doubleheader with Nebraska at home Wednesday and a three-game set with Rutgers at home next weekend. We have to keep putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play, you stand a chance. When you focus and simplify, you give yourself a chance.”
The Hawkeyes (9-23, 3-6 Big Ten) face Northern Iowa on Tuesday in the first of three midweek games this week. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. (CT).