COLUMBIA, S.C. – The UNCG softball team fell to Big Ten foe Iowa, 5-0, in the 2014 season opener Friday afternoon at the Carolina Softball Stadium.
Redshirt freshman Shayla Starkenburg throw a complete game one-hitter with five strikeouts and six walks to earn the victory for the Hawkeyes. Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) went four innings, allowing six hits and just two earned runs to earn the loss.
Sophomore Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) earned two walks in her first game of the 2014 season.
In the top of the first, UNCG had a scoring opportunity after back-to-back walks from Thomas and senior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) with one out. Both runners advanced on a passed ball when sophomore Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) hit into a fielder’s choice with Iowa’s first baseman throwing Thomas out at home plate.
Iowa took an early lead after designated player Kayla Massey singled to left field to give the Hawkeyes a 1-0 advantage. With one out, Michelle Zoeller singled to left field and Megan Blank worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Massey just lifted a swallow hit to left scoring Zoeller from second base. Hanks got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to end the frame.
The Hawkeyes increased their lead to 2-0 after a two out RBI from Brianna Luna in the bottom of the second. Erin Erickson singled with one out and moved to second after a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Luna singled through the right side scoring Erickson, who was running with two outs.
Iowa added two more insurance runs in the third and fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Bedwell lined a single off the first baseman’s glove to give UNCG its first hit of the contest.
The Hawkeyes add their fifth run in the bottom of the sixth off an RBI single from Holly Hoffman.
UNCG returns to action Saturday, Feb. 8 against Ohio at 10:30 a.m. at the Carolina Softball Stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.