March 17, 2005
STOCKTON, CA – The University of Iowa Softball team pounded out a season-high 16 hits en route to a 13-7 triumph over Utah Thursday afternoon played at Bill Simoni Field on the campus of Pacific.
Iowa exploded for six runs in the second inning. Redshirt junior Natalie Johnson hit a solo homerun for the only earned run of the frame. A pair of RBI singles extended Iowa’s lead to 3-0. Later in the inning, freshman Emily Nichols then doubled the Hawkeye advantage after she blasted a three-run homerun, her team-leading 10th of the season. The 10 home runs match Alicia Gerlach’s 10 round-trippers hit in both 2000 and 2001 for the single season school record.
Utah’s Lynsey Wall hit a three-run home run off Iowa hurler Ali Arnold in the top of the fourth to trim the Hawkeye lead to 8-3, before Iowa responded with a two-run double in the bottom of the frame to make it 8-3. Utah (8-13) rallied to score four in the sixth to shave the Iowa advantage to 8-7, but the Hawkeyes plated five runs in the bottom half of the inning with three RBI singles and a two-RBI single. Lisa Birocci relieved Arnold in the fourth inning and collected her 13th win of the season.
Iowa (22-4) returns to action tomorrow when the Hawkeyes begin competition in the Capital Classic in Sacramento, CA. Iowa opens play against Oregon State (13-6) at 2:30 p.m. and Long Island (3-14) at 5 p.m. Both time listed are central.