March 13, 2004
SAN JOSE, CA – The University of Iowa softball team advanced in the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose, CA, with a 2-0 extra-inning win over the Syracuse Orangewomen, then fell to No. 3 California, 8-2.
Neither team managed to crack the scoreboard in seven innings, but the Hawkeyes were able to put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the eighth by taking advantage of a pair of Syracuse errors.
Lisa Birocci started the inning on second due to the international tiebreaker rule, and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Elisha Huse. Pinch-hitter Ali Arnold then reached on a thrwoing error by the Orangewoman shortstop. Larua Chipman re-entered the game and ran for Arnold, and immediately stole second.
Sophomore Emily Gerlick then ripped a single to center, scoring Birocci. The throw in from center went wild, allowing Chipman to score and give Iowa the 2-0 lead.
Birocci threw all eight innings of the win, upping her season record to 5-4.
In the second game, Iowa ran into a buzzsaw in the third-ranked California Golden Bears. California avanged a defeat at the hands of Iowa at the NIST two years ago with a 8-2 win Saturday night.
Iowa managed to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI double from Mindy Heidgerken.
The Golden Bears scored a pair in the top of the fourth, then added another in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. California put another three on the board in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Arnold (6-4) pitched six innings in the loss.
The Hawkeyes (11-8) will face the Arizona State Sun Devils for third place Sunday at 1 p.m. Central.