LEESBURG, Florida – Sophomore Nia Carter propelled the University of Iowa softball team to victory on Friday, hitting a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Hawkeyes (1-1) over Ohio State (1-1), 4-3. Iowa lost the first game of the doubleheader against the Buckeyes, 3-2.
In the first game, sophomore Kalena Burns hit her first homerun of the season, a solo shot in the fourth inning. Senior Sarah Lehman took the loss striking out five batters while allowing three hits. Freshman Denali Loecker hit an RBI double for the Hawkeyes.
In the second game senior Lauren Shaw took the mound and struck out six on her way to collecting the win. Carter tied a career high with three hits in four trips to the plate, including the game-winning single which brought home two RBIs.
HEAR FROM NIA CARTER ON HER WALK-OFF
“I was just trying to keep calm. I swung at a really high riseball, and I knew I was getting a little antsy. After that first pitch, I knew I needed to calm it down and do what I know how to do best. I am so proud of this team, we really battled today, and I am super excited for the rest of the season.”
HEAR FROM COACH GILLISPIE
“It was good to see both Sarah and Lauren pitch complete games. They kept batters off balance, and I was proud of how they came out to play. We had big hitting; Grace Banes had one heck of a game. Nia Carter all day long getting the key clutch hits we needed. The top of our order was strong. But also, being able to see our kids that pinch hit for us step up. Lindy Milkowksi and Ashley Hamilton drawing the walks, and then Riley Sheehy with the clutch bunt to move the runners over and set Carter up to bring those runs home.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Burns hit a solo shot to left field. Ohio State answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a three-run blast. The Hawkeyes tried to rally back in the top of the sixth. Carter tripled, freshman Grace Banes flew out to left field, and Carter was caught not tagging up. Burns drew a walk, and freshman pinch runner Zoe Schulte scored on Loecker’s double to pull Iowa within one.
Ohio State opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, plating one unearned run. They added two more in the top of the third to extend their lead to three. Things broke open for the Hawkeyes in the fourth inning. Burns singled and Schulte stole second as a pinch runner. Loecker singled to move Schulte to third. Freshman Marissa Peek notched her first career RBI, bringing Schulte home on a single. Loecker scored on a throwing error to bring the score to 3-2. Iowa rallied again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Senior Ashley Hamilton drew a walk. Freshman Lindy Milkowski drew a walk as a pinch hitter. Junior Riley Sheehy laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners, and Carter singled to end the game, bringing home the tying and winning run for the Hawkeyes.
- Carter was five for seven at the plate on the day.
- Six true freshmen saw action for the Hawkeyes.
- Burns hit her first homerun of the season; she led the team last year with five.
Next up for Iowa is a second doubleheader tomorrow against No. 17 Michigan starting at 9:20 a.m (CT).