May 11, 2012
Despite having an impressive performance by sophomore pitcher Sara Moulton, the University of Minnesota softball team was unable to plate any runs as Iowa pulled off a 1-0 eight-inning victory on Friday night. Moulton and Iowa pitcher Kayla Massey combined to allow only six hits on the night with four coming from the Eagan, Minn. native.
The Hawkeyes (26-25, 15-7 Big Ten) snagged the 1-0 lead as Johnnie Dowling scored from second on a Megan Blank single up the middle. Dowling, who reached base on a dropped third strike, slid around junior catcher Kari Dorle's tag as sophomore Bree Blanchette tossed a strike from mid-center field.
The Golden Gophers (30-21, 9-13 Big Ten) would go down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
The pitching duel began right from the start as both Moulton and Massey made quick work in the first two innings, but it was a rain delay that halted the rapid moving game in the third.
After sitting through a one-hour delay, Minnesota came out looking to take the lead in the bottom half of the third, but their chance was squashed on a throw out at home.
With two outs, freshman Tyler Walker sprayed a double down the left field line to give the Maroon and Gold their first hit of the contest. Erica Meyer would draw a walk in the following at bat. Kaitlyn Richardson was next up and chopped a slow roller towards second. The Hawkeyes would toss to second in hopes of getting Meyer, but the left fielder slid in safe. With head coach Jessica Allister's arm swinging, Walker charged for home but ran into the Iowa catcher just before the plate, earning the final out of the inning.
Minnesota would get another chance in the fifth as senior Dannie Skrove singled to begin the inning, but after advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and then an Iowa error, the Gophers couldn't come up with a clutch hit to score Skrove.
Moulton tossed all eight innings for the Gophers and surrendered just one run on four hits while striking out six Hawakeyes.
The Golden Gophers still have hopes of clinching the series tomorrow afternoon as they face Iowa for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
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