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Drake Rallies To Knock Off Iowa State, 10-9

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: April 09, 2014
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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University softball team overcame an early deficit and survived a late rally attempt to defeat in-state rival Iowa State, 10-9, Wednesday at Ron Buel Field.

Junior Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) earned the win in the circle for Drake (11-23, 3-6 MVC) after pitching the final five innings for the Bulldogs. Schmidt’s record improves to 10-10 as she won her fourth-straight decision. She struck out two batters, while allowing four runs on four hits.

Senior Liz Buck (Overland Park, Kan.) paced Drake with a 3-for-4 hitting performance with one RBI and three runs scored. Junior Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) was 2-for-3 with a key double and four RBI, while senior Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) scored three times.

Iowa State (18-18, 1-5 Big 12) jumped out to a quick start, scoring five runs in the first inning knocking Drake starting pitcher, senior Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa), out of the game after four of the first five Cyclones reached base safely, including Lexi Slater’s home run to dead center.

The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame, getting two runs back thanks in part to erratic pitching by Iowa State, while only recording one hit in the inning, to bring the score to 5-2.

After retiring the Cyclones in the top of the second inning, Drake’s three-run in the bottom of the inning tied the game at 5-5. After a pair of free passes put runners on first and second for Buck, the senior responded with a double to left field to open the scoring in the inning. Nybo knocked a base hit to center to score Pierce, and junior Laura Brewer (Waukee, Iowa) reached on an Iowa State error, allowing Buck to score Drake’s final run of the inning to knot the score. 

Brewer’s one-out blooper to left field with the bases loaded in the fourth inning gave Drake its first lead of the game at 6-5, but the Cyclones pitched out of a jam to limit the damage to the single run.

The Bulldogs added to their lead the following inning, scoring four runs in the fifth on Nybo’s at-bat. With two outs and the bases loaded, the junior blasted a shot to the left-center field fence clearing the bases. Nybo scored on an error, after Iowa State’s catcher threw the ball into the outfield trying to catch Nybo advancing to third.

Iowa State threatened with four runs in the top of the seventh, but the Bulldogs held on to win the game.

Drake returns to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend when it travels to Indiana to face the Evansville Purple Aces. A doubleheader versus the Aces is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 at noon with the series finale set for noon on Sunday.

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