Conway, S.C.— Junior Mia Ruther’s walk-off single lifted the University of Iowa softball team (4-1) over Virginia Tech (4-1), 4-3, in eight innings in the final game of the Kickin’ Chicken Classic on Sunday.
Ruther put together a standout day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Avery Guy launched her first home run in an Iowa uniform, a two-run shot in the second inning.
Junior Lauren Shaw (2-1) got the win out of the bullpen for Iowa. The left-hander went 3.1 shutout innings without giving up a hit, no walks and striking out two. Senior Allison Doocy started on the mound for the Hawkeyes. Through 4.2 innings, Doocy amassed five strikeouts.
HEAR FROM COACH GILLISPIE
“It was a big win against a very tough Virginia Tech team. Being able to come back and get a win after losing to them earlier in the tournament is a huge success for our program. Pitchers Allison Doocy and Lauren Shaw complemented each other very well in this game. Our short game with our slappers and bunters performed really well and put pressure on their defense which helped us accomplish what we needed to do. Seeing us score first and play well defensively is a big step in the right direction.”
HEAR FROM MIA RUTHER
“I’m really proud of how we fought. After Virginia Tech took the lead in the fifth, we were able to respond and put up a run to tie the game. Our defense remained solid, and we were able to put together big plays in the top of the eighth to prevent Virginia Tech from scoring any runs. I feel like we improved every day this weekend, and it showed today.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Iowa’s defense forced Virginia Tech to go three-up, three-down at the plate in the first.
Mia Ruther registered Iowa’s first hit of the game in the first, singling to shortstop. Ruther then stole second base and advanced to third on an overthrow made by Virginia Tech’s catcher. Virginia Tech prevented Iowa from scoring.
Allison Doocy struck out two Hokies in the second inning, holding Virginia Tech scoreless.
Iowa heated up offensively in the second. Junior Avery Guy tallied her first-career home run in a Hawkeye uniform after she hit a two-run bomb to center to put Iowa on the board first.
Both teams failed to score in the third.
The Hokies pieced together three runs in the fifth innings thanks to a home run and two RBI single. Lauren Shaw replaced Doocy on the mound for the remainder of the game.
Iowa responded in the bottom of the fifth on Ruther’s RBI single, scoring freshman Nia Carter.
The Hawkeyes prevailed defensively in the sixth and seventh innings, allowing no Hokie runs.
After seven innings, the game went into an international tie-breaker that allowed a runner to be placed on second base. Iowa’s defense shined, recorded three-consecutive Virginia Tech outs and did not allow any Hokie runs.
In the bottom of the eighth, freshman Taylor Ryan was Iowa’s runner placed on second. With one out, Ruther singled to short and advanced Ryan to third, but an error made by Virginia Tech allowed Ryan to cross home plate and give the Hawkeyes a walk-off win for their fourth victory of the weekend.
» Ruther compiled three base hits for Iowa.
» Doocy struck out five Hokies hitters.
» Iowa’s highest scoring inning was the second, when it pushed two runs across.
» Iowa pitchers faced 31 Virginia Tech hitters in the game, allowing 10 ground balls and seven fly balls while striking out seven.
» Guy led the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Iowa travels to Atlanta next weekend to play in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa faces Boston College on back-to-back days on Feb. 14-15. Iowa plays Georgia Tech on Feb. 15 and again on Feb. 16.