March 25, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Despite allowing only one earned run, Loyola University Chicago (4-16) came up on the wrong end of a 3-0 decision versus Ball State (6-8) this afternoon at the Hawkeye Classic hosted by the University of Iowa. The Ramblers have dropped five straight games after winning three in a row on their spring trip to California two weeks ago.
The game was a pitcher's duel for the first three innings although Loyola had a golden opportunity to jump on the board first in the bottom of the third. Designated player Raven Gengler led off the inning with a single to center and pinch runner Katie Duffy stole second and moved to third on Trisha Hruskocy's sacrifice bunt. However, BSU starting pitcher Nicki Hellem was able to wiggle out of the jam, keeping the game locked in a scoreless tie.
Ball State dented the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the fourth inning on catcher Abby Gross' two-run homer that cleared the fence in right field. Loyola had another scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the fourth as Lindsay O'Gean led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on Nora Schober's double, but once again, the Cardinals were able to escape the inning unscathed.
BSU tacked on a run in the sixth inning to increase the lead to 3-0, and the resilient Ramblers mounted one last offensive attack in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. However, Loyola was unable to do any damage against reliever Abby Zollman.
Gengler went 2 for 3 to lead the Loyola offense, which managed four hits on the day.
Loyola wraps up play at the Hawkeye Classic tomorrow when it faces South Dakota State and North Dakota State.