May 12, 2012
On Senior Day at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, the University of Minnesota softball team drew a split with Iowa, who was hoping for a sweep to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title. In game one, the Gophers shutdown the Hawkeye offense while they errupted at the plate to win 4-1. Game two was similar in fashion, but the Hawkeyes would storm back to pull off the 5-4 triumph.
Game One: Minnesota 4, Iowa 1
The bottom of the Golden Gopher lineup came up big in the first game of the doubleheader as both Alex Davis and Erika Smyth knocked in runs to help Minnesota pull off a 4-1 victory over Iowa. Sara Moulton had a good day in the circle as she held the Hawkeyes to only six hits while striking out the same amount.
The run support for Moulton began in the second as Smyth launched a two-run homer to center field. Smyth's fourth home run of the season would also plate senior Dannie Skrove, who reached base an at bat before with a one-out bunt single.
Skrove would end up going 2-for-3 at the plate while Smyth went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI.
Iowa would answer in the top of the third as Johnnie Dowling, who led off the inning with a single through the left side, came around to score on a Katie Keim double down the right field line.
Only three notched hits off Moulton as Keim went a perfect 3-for-3, Michelle Zoeller went 2-for-3 and Dowling had one hit.
With only a one-run lead heading into the fifth, Minnesota pieced together a pair of one-run innings in the fifth and sixth to stretch their lead.
After a leadoff double by freshman Kaitlyn Richardson, the Gophers would load up the bases as Kari Dorle and Madie Eckstrom walked. It was then that Davis singled through the right side of the infield to plate Richardson, making the score 3-1. Senior Alex Pafko, who was pinch running for Dorle, attempted to add another on the play but was tossed out at home by the right fielder.
In the sixth, it was a pair of doubles from Bree Blanchette and Erica Meyer that extended the Gophers' lead to 4-1.
Moulton would seal the deal in the top of the seventh as she recorded two of her six strikeouts to close out the game.
Game Two: Iowa 5, Minnesota 4
After jumping out to an early lead, the Golden Gophers let the lead slip away in the fourth on an Iowa grand slam. With being down two in the bottom of the seventh, Minnesota battled back to load the bases, but the Hawkeyes held off the Gophers on Senior Day.
The Maroon and Gold jumped on Iowa right away as freshman Erica Meyer notched a triple to plate fellow classmate Tyler Walker, who reached on a leadoff single. Meyer would eventually score on a Richardson chopper to first.
Minnesota was back at it in the next inning as Skrove would come around and score on a Walker single to right center, making the score 3-0.
Senior Alissa Koch was given the start and kept the Hawkeyes at bay with going three up, three down in the first three innings. It wasn't until the fourth that Iowa caught on to the crafty pitcher.
Iowa would load the bases with a walk, hit and a failed fielder's choice by the Gophers. With the bases juiced, Liz Watkins played spoiler as she belted a grand slam over the left field wall, which gave the Hawkeyes a 4-3 lead.
After relinquishing the lead in the fourth, the Gophers didn't roll over as they put on their rally caps in the bottom of the seventh.
The Maroon and Gold would battle at the plate and load the bases with one out as Smyth was granted a walk, Blanchette singled to center and Walker was hit by a pitch. Meyer would step up and score Smyth from third on a sacrifice fly, but Minnesota's luck ran out as Iowa sat down the next to Gophers to win 5-4.
Koch would receive the loss but put together a good performance in the circle as she allowed only six hits.
The loss caps off the 2012 season for the Gophers. Following the game, a Senior Day picnic was held along the left field line of Jane Sage Cowles Stadium honoring seniors Alissa Koch, Alex Pafko, Dannie Skrove and Josie Solie.
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