Iowa’s defense got the best of the Nebraska softball team on Sunday. The Hawkeyes won the first game of the doubleheader 6-1 and took the second game 4-1 to complete the sweep.
Iowa senior pitcher Allison Doocy, who tossed a one-hitter against the Huskers on Friday, had another stellar performance in game one. Doocy struck out 11 and allowed four hits with one earned run, ending her shutout streak at two.
Iowa earned a comfortable early lead after a strong second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman pitcher Kaylin Kinney walked in the first run of the game for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa got its next run off another error by Kinney, scoring on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 2-0.
After a walk re-loaded the bases, freshman utility Denali Loecker hit a bases-clearing triple, putting the Hawkeyes up 5-0.
The Hawkeyes scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the third. Freshman center fielder Brylee Klosterman plated sophomore right fielder Nia Carter on a bases loaded single, giving Iowa a 6-0 lead.
Kinney was pulled from the game for junior pitcher Courtney Wallace, who retired the following batter, ending the inning.
Wallace pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of Kinney, extending her scoreless inning streak to 18 innings. The junior hurler was also the source of the Huskers’ only run, hitting an RBI single in the top of the sixth.
The Huskers loaded the bases later in the inning hoping to spark a rally, but Doocy struck out the two subsequent batters to end the scoring threat.
Nebraska continued its troubles with runners in scoring position in the second half of the doubleheader. The Huskers went 2-of-9 with runners in scoring position, with neither hits driving in the runners.
The first opportunity came in the top of the first inning. The Huskers loaded the bases, but Iowa forced two infield groundouts, preventing any runs.
Iowa struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Loecker hit a deep line drive to left field out of reach of freshman outfielder Abbie Squier, leading to a double. Loecker scored on a single by sophomore first baseman Kalena Burns, giving Iowa an early 1-0 lead.
Iowa extended its lead in the bottom of the third. Down to its final out in the inning, Iowa freshman shortstop Grace Banes hit a single through the gap in left field, scoring Klosterman.
Carter continued the rally with an outfield single, scoring Loecker. The throw to home plate was not in time for the out at home, but senior pitcher Olivia Ferrell made the heads-up play as the cutoff and threw it to third, getting Banes out to end the inning.
The Hawkeyes had another two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning. Klosterman singled up the middle, scoring senior third baseman Ashley Hamilton from second, extending the lead to 4-0.
Iowa went 4-of-9 with runners in scoring position in the contest with all four hits being RBIs.
Nebraska had a late chance in the top of the sixth. Junior right fielder Peyton Glatter hit a solo home run to start the inning. The homer was Nebraska’s first of the weekend.
The Huskers continued their offensive production, loading the bases later in the inning. With two outs, sophomore third baseman Brooke Andrews, the potential go-ahead run, was at the plate.
Senior pitcher Lauren Shaw kept her cool, and struck out Andrews. Shaw then didn’t give up a hit in the seventh inning to seal the Hawkeye victory.
Nebraska plays its final series of the regular season against Northwestern, starting on Friday, May 14.