Nationally ranked teams continue to challenge the Iowa softball team and have continually been pushed aside this season.
The Hawkeyes got a monster game at the plate from Megan Blank and pitcher Chelsea Lyon improved to 6-1 on the season Friday night as Iowa earned its third straight win over a top 25 foe when it handily beat No. 24 Oregon State at the Easton Invitational on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.
“Our team took a step forward today,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We found a way to get the job done.”
Blank homered, doubled and drove in four runs while scoring twice in the win. Lyon allowed just two earned runs on five hits in seven innings. She also walked five and struck out two.
“Chelsea did a nice job in the circle,” said Looper. “Early on, she was trying to find her way. When she settled in, she really buckled down. She did a really nice job for us tonight.”
The Hawkeyes previously beat No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette earlier this season and downed No. 15 Stanford earlier in the day Friday. Iowa is now 12-5 on the season, while Oregon State drops to 14-4.
Iowa was scoreless through three innings but plated two runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth before breaking through with a five-run seventh to put the Beavers away.
Oregon State led 1-0 after two but managed just single runs in the sixth and seventh innings as its win streak was halted at 12 games.
Bradi Wall was 1-for-1 with two HBPs in the win and she also scored twice and had one RBI. Johnnie Dowling, Holly Hoffman, Ashley Akers and Kayla Massey all had one hit and one RBI for the Hawkeyes, who have won three straight.
“It was good to see that happen,” said Looper. “Early on, we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities, but then we did and our base runners started moving. We had good speed on the bases. We can force the action.”
Desire Beltran led the Beavers at the plate with one hit, two runs and an RBI. Maria Demore (9-2) took the loss in the circle after allowing eight runs on six hits in six innings.
Iowa concludes action in the Easton Invitational on Saturday against host Cal State Fullerton (3:30 p.m.) and CSU Bakersfield (5:45 p.m.).