No. 11 Louisville was not going to let the Hawkeyes spoil another win.
One day after ending the Cardinals win streak at 11, the Iowa softball team lost to Louisville, 6-4, at Ulmer Stadium.
The Hawkeyes (18-8) trailed from the start and a late rally was not enough. Iowa scored two runs in each of its final two at-bats but the deficit to overcome was too high.
“It was frustrating because we came out and got two outs early,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Then we gave up four runs. Unfortunately, against a quality opponent, it is tough to come back from that. We did, later in the sixth and seventh inning when we put two runs up each frame. We had plenty of opportunities, leaving 10 runners on base. We did not take advantage of those opportunities.”
Louisville used a four-run first inning to take control early. And all four runs came with two outs.
The home team added two runs in the fifth to extend its lead to 6-0.
Michelle Zoeller’s two-run triple scored Holly Hoffman and Kayla Massey in the sixth to make it 6-2. It eventually got to 6-4 but could not punch through the tying or winning runs.
“We have to make adjustments earlier and execute earlier,” said Looper. “When we do that, we put runs up and we make things happen, and we give ourselves an opportunity.”
Cardinals’ starter Rachel LeCoq responded after a tough outing against Iowa on Monday. The junior tossed five innings, allowing two runs on four hits to earn the win (10-2). She was pulled after a third of an inning in the first meeting between the two schools on Monday.
Hawkeye starter Chelsea Lyon took the loss (8-4). The senior allowed six runs on seven hits in six innings.
Zoeller led the Iowa offense, notching her fourth multi-hit game of the season and equaling a career best with three hits. The junior finished 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and her second career triple.
The Hawkeyes travel to Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday to face No. 17 Kentucky at 3:30 p.m. at the UK Softball Complex. The contest against the Wildcats will be televised on UK/IMG Sports Network and Fox Sports South.