Feb. 21, 2004
TEMPE – – The University of Iowa softball team won a pair of games on the second day of the Louisville Slugger Classic in Tempe, AZ. The Hawkeyes toppled Utah State, 5-1, then had an offensive explosion in a 9-0, five-inning win over No. 20 Arizona State.
Lisa Birocci led the way for the Hawkeyes in game one against Utah State, striking out 13 batters in six innings in picking up the win. The junior from Des Moines took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering an RBI single to Quela Henderson. Birocci made noise at the plate as well, blasting a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Iowa took a 2-0 lead in the second by scoring a pair of runs on an Aggie error. Birocci’s home run and an RBI single from Kylie Murray gave the Hawkeyes a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Murray, who was 3-for-4 on the day, added another RBI in the bottom of the sixth.
Ali Arnold came in for the final inning and nailed down her first-career save.
The same way Birocci was the story of game one, Arnold was the story in game two. The sophomore shut down the Sun Devil hitters by throwing three scoreless innings. At the plate, she was 3-of-3 with a home run and five RBIs. In each of Iowa’s wins this season, the starting pitcher has hit a home run.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the first, then put things away in the fourth with six more runs. Arizona State couldn’t respond in the top of the fifth and the game was ended by run-rule.
Iowa will conclude the Louisville Slugger Classic with a rematch against Arizona State Sunday at 11 a.m.