April 2, 2004
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball opened the 2004 Big Ten Conference season with a 7-2 win over Northwestern Friday night at Pearl Field.
The Hawkeyes had a rocky first inning, falling into a 2-0 hole off three hit batsmen, a walk and a base hit. Northwestern’s Courtney Foster kept the Iowa bats for the first three innings, but the Iowa offense found its groove in the bottom of the fourth.
Iowa loaded the bases for Laura Chipman, who drew a walk to bring in the first Iowa run. Emily Gerlick followed that up with a two-run single to give Iowa the lead.
The Hawkeyes stretched their lead to 5-2 in the following inning, using a perfect sacrifice squeeze from Kylie Murray and a Northwestern throwing error.
Amanda Hentges ripped a two-run double off the base of the leftfield wall in the bottom of the sixth to give Iowa a pair of insurance runs.
Junior Lisa Birocci entered the game in the third inning and dominated, pitching five innings of no-hit relief and striking out nine.
Iowa (19-15, 1-0) and Northwestern (14-9, 0-1) will do battle tomorrow at Pearl Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.