Western Courier

Softball shocks the Hawkeyes

Emily+Ira+on+the+mound+for+the+Purple+and+Gold.
Emily Ira on the mound for the Purple and Gold.

Emily Ira on the mound for the Purple and Gold.

Ariel Ramirez/ Courier Staff

Ariel Ramirez/ Courier Staff

Emily Ira on the mound for the Purple and Gold.

Haley Richards, Assistant Sports Editor

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IOWA City, Iowa — The Western Illinois softball team played against the University of Iowa on Tuesday. The Leathernecks defeated the Hawkeyes 2-1 and move onto 14-22 overall. Iowa is now 19-22 on their season.

This win over the Hawkeyes was Western’s first win over a Power Five school, since they last beat Iowa in April of 2015. This win also puts them on a seven-game winning streak, which is the longest it has been since 2012.

“I am so proud of this team and their resilience tonight. They kept fighting until the last out. The way this team plays together and believes in each other is very special,” head coach Beth Golitko said. “Emily was in the zone today and with a few great plays behind her, we were able to stay in the game. Both teams showed great fight tonight and I’m happy we were able to get that extra inning win. We did not press and we trusted the process. Getting this win felt really good.”

No hits were given up for either team until the seventh inning. Pitching for the Purple and Gold was junior Emily Ira. She ended the game with a 3.39 ERA with only three hits and one run against her.

Junior infielder Hailey Duwa ended Iowa’s no-hitter in the top of the seventh, when she hit a home run over the right-field wall. The Hawkeyes turned around in the bottom of the seventh to end Ira’s no hitter. This was the second time this season that Ira was only one strike away from a shutout.

In the top of the eighth, bases were loaded for the Leathernecks. Freshman outfielder Alyssa Ealy and senior outfielder Rachel Beatty both bunted to get on base. Freshman outfielder Ashley Minyard was hit by a pitch to get her on first. With only one out, junior pitcher Payton Abbott hit a ground ball to shortstop and Ealy was able to make it home to win the game.

During the last inning, Iowa tried to come back putting one runner on base but the player was left stranded and Western Illinois would hand them their 22nd loss of the season.

This win against Iowa will give them the momentum necessary to finish the remainder of the season. Up next on the schedule is conference opponent, the University of Nebraska-Omaha [Omaha].

Currently, the Purple and Gold stand on top of the Summit League with their 6-0 record. Omaha is ranked fifth out of the six teams in the conference with a 2-6 record. The three-game series against the Mavericks will be played at home; the first game will start this Saturday at noon.

Twitter: @hayfourrr

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Softball shocks the Hawkeyes