Whatever it was that plagued the Hawkeyes at the plate through the early stretch of the conference schedule lifted last weekend in Evanston, IL.
The Hawkeyes scored 3o runs in the three games to win two out of three and win their first three-game series of the conference season. The Wildcats scored more than their fair share of runs in the series as well, plating 32 runs total for the weekend.
Friday night in Evanston started with Kayla Massey in the circle for the Hawkeyes and Amy Letournea taking the ball for the Wildcats. Northwestern gave Letournea an early boost, scoring four runs in the first three innings. Iowa finally got to Letournea in the fourth, pushing across nine runs on eight hits in the inning. The Hawkeyes would add another run and the Wildcats three more, making the final score 12-7. The win was the Hawkeyes’ first conference road victory.
If Friday wasn’t full of enough offense for the fans in Evanston, Saturday was sure to satisfy. Iowa’s 15 runs were the most for the Hawkeyes in a Big Ten game since 1997. Chelsea Lyon started the game for Iowa and Meghan Lamberth started for Northwestern in the circle but neither would figure into the decision. Micaela Whitney entered the game for Iowa in the sixth and got credit for the win. Megan Blank hit her eighth home run of the season, leading the Hawkeyes to a series-clinching 15-14 victory.
Sunday brought an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to extend their win streak to three games and get a momentum-building sweep. The Wildcats were having none of that. Lyon matched up against Letournea and this time, Letournea kept the Hawkeyes bats’ silent. Lyon gave up eight hits and Iowa committed two errors, helping the Wildcats finish off the Hawkeyes in just five innings, 11-3.
Iowa is now 24-16 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes play a double-header this Wednesday at home against the eighth ranked Missouri Tigers.