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Hawkeye Softball Beats Northwestern On Wild Pitch

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- With the game tied in a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh inning, the University of Iowa softball team scored a run on a Nicole Bond wild pitch to record the 4-3, walk off win over No. 23/RV Northwestern.

The Hawkeyes avoid the sweep with the win and move to 10-18 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten action. It is Iowa's first victory over a ranked foe this season. Northwestern drops to 22-9 overall and 5-4 in conference play after the loss, but win the series, 2-1.

"As streaky as we've been, we have been able to fight back and continue to give ourselves chances," head coach Marla Looper said. "They did a nice job early on limiting our base runners. We just needed to be patient, get that base runner and that's when we exploded. We have the ability to do that all the time, I just wish we wouldn't wait so long to do it.

"It's nice to get a home win and to finish the weekend with a better taste in our mouths. And we did it against a quality ball club. There's a reason why they play the way they do. They score a lot of runs. We just had to do a better job and score more than they did, and we did that today."

Wildcat leadoff hitter Emily Allard singled to open the game and stole second base to reach scoring position. The team's second consecutive single off the bat of Mari Majum put runners on the corners. A Northwestern double steal allowed a run to score and provided an early 1-0 advantage.

Northwestern added its second run in the top of the third. Consecutive singles from Allard and Majum started the inning. The Hawkeyes recorded an out then tried to end the inning with a double play, but could not turn two. Allard snuck home on the play to make it 2-0 Northwestern.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the Iowa offense came charging back in the fifth. Michelle Zoeller drew a one-out walk, and Erin Erickson followed with a single to give the Hawkeyes their first hit of the game. Alyssa Navarro plated Zoeller with a double to right center to ruin the Wildcat shutout bid. After Luna drew a walk to load the bases, Claire Fritsch came through with a clutch two-RBI single to left field to push the Hawkeyes ahead, 3-2.

Iowa kept its advantage until a Hawkeye error in the top of the seventh with two outs allowed Northwestern to plate the game-tying run.

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