IOWA CITY — Kailee Smith dominated without overpowering.
“I don’t strike out a lot of batters. I just work on my spin and lean on my defense,” she said after scattering six hits as Drake defeated Iowa, 3-1, in a non-conference, intrastate softball game in front of a crowd of 482 Wednesday night at Pearl Field.
Smith induced a lot of weak contact as Drake (22-9) won its eighth consecutive game. Iowa (15-14) saw a three-game win streak come to an end.
“(Smith) did a nice job, but we didn’t make the necessary adjustments,” Iowa Coach Marla Looper said. “They played good defense, but we’ve just got to make better adjustments.”
The beginning of the game was delayed 35 minutes due to a rain shower.
“We stayed in the locker room, and I watched my teammates goof around,” Smith said. “Coach (Rich Calvert) said five minutes before game time, it was time to warm up.”
Smith struck out just four batters, but was in firm command through the first six innings. Drake led 3-0 on the strength of single tallies in the second, third and fourth innings, and it would have been a larger margin had the Bulldogs not stranded nine runners in the first four innings.
“(Pitcher Allison) Doocy buckles down in those moments, but unfortunately, we got to those moments,” Looper said.
Iowa made a seventh-inning rally behind some small ball. The Hawkeyes got infield hits by Leah Thompson, Aralee Bogar and McKenzie Schneider to cut the deficit to 3-1, and had runners at first and third with one out.
But Smith got Angela Schmiederer to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end it.
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Drake got the leadoff hitter aboard in each of the first six innings, and three of them came around to score.
Kelsey Wright singled home Smith in the second inning, Taryn Pena’s base hit plated Macy Johnson in the third, then Mandi Roemmerich’s double chased home Melissa Schlotzhauer in the fourth. Roemmerich was 3-for-4 for the winners.
Sarah Kurtz had two hits for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes start a three-game Big Ten series at Maryland on Friday. Drake hosts Bradley for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference weekend set, starting with a doubleheader Saturday.
DRAKE 3, IOWA 1
At Iowa City
Drake 011 100 0 — 3 11 0
Iowa 000 000 1 — 1 6 1
Kailee Smith and Gabbie Jonas. Allison Doocy and Angela Schmiederer. W — Smith (5-3). L — Doocy (8-6).
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