Hawks and Cyclones play to a 6-6 tie
AMES, Iowa -- The University of Iowa and Iowa State played through rain, endured a significant weather delay and saw the game end in a 6-6 tie after five innings due to darkness on Wednesday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. The Hawkeyes hit a season-high four home runs to highlight the action.
"I wasn't sure how it was going to go with the stiff wind blowing in from left center, but they weren't fly balls that went out, they were line drives that went out. No question," head coach Marla Looper said. "A lot of our foul balls were screamers down the left field line and it was just a matter of time before we squared some up."
Iowa State reached the scoring column first using back-to-back infield singles to put two runners on base with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. A passed ball moved each runner up a base and a wild pitch allowed a Cyclone run to score. With a runner on third and no outs, the game was suspended due to rainy conditions.
Following a lengthy rain delay, the contest was resumed just before 6 p.m. (CT). After giving up a walk to put runners on the corners, Hawkeye starting pitcher Kayla Massey used a strikeout to collect the first out. However, a double steal on the play allowed Iowa State to plate its second run. A single up the middle scored a third run before Iowa could end the inning with a pair of groundouts.
Iowa fought back in the top of the second and cut the deficit down to one run, 3-2. After Whitney Repole reached on an error to open the frame, Massey drove her sixth home run over the fence in left field to ruin the Cyclone shutout bid.
However, the Cyclones got the runs back in the bottom of the third, using a Sara Davison triple to score a pair of walked batters.
Repole started the top of the fourth in a big way for the Hawkeyes, winning a full count battle with her third home run of the season and the fourth of her career to bring Iowa back within two runs. Iowa State added a run on two hits in the bottom of the fourth, but once again the Hawkeye offense answered with runs in the fifth.
Brianna Luna knocked a 2-1 pitch out of the park with one away in the top of the fifth to start the Hawkeye rally. Claire Fritsch reached on a single to right, and Megan Blank made it three hits in a row hitting her second home run of the season to right center to knot the contest, 6-6.
Holly Hoffman drew a walk to put the fourth consecutive Hawkeye on base and was replaced at first by pinch runner Kara Misel. After a Cyclone pitching change and a groundout moved Misel into scoring position at second, Massey singled to right. Misel was sent to the plate on the play, but was thrown out at home to close the inning.
Iowa State drew a one-out walk but the Hawkeye defense used a groundout and a fly out to keep the Cyclones scoreless in the bottom of the fifth. The umpires convened and decided to stop the game due to darkness, ending the contest in a tie, 6-6, after five innings.
"I wish we would've had that seventh run," Looper said. "It had to be the perfect throw with a wet ball and it was on the money. The catcher caught it and put a tag on. "I was just proud of our girls to keep plugging away and find a way to tie the game."
Blank and Massey paced the Hawkeye offense with two RBIs, while Luna and Repole added one apiece. Every Hawkeye run was driven in by a home run. Seven-of-nine Iowa starters reached base at least once in the game.
Massey (7-14-1) struck out five and allowed six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits in her first career tie. Iowa moves to 13-25-1 overall following the game, while Iowa State is 21-23-1.
The Hawkeyes continue their road swing at Indiana this weekend, April 25-27. Game one of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. (CT) on Friday. Games two and three are set to begin at 12 p.m. (CT) on Saturday and Sunday.