March 27, 2005
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team defeated Ball State (10-0) and North Dakota State (2-0) to claim the Hawkeye Classic championship on Sunday. Iowa recorded 21 hits in the two games and the Iowa pitching staff struck out a combined 23 batters.
Lisa Birocci moved into third place on the career strikeout list on Sunday against North Dakota State. The senior, who struck out 13 against North Dakota State, now has 794 career strikeouts. She passed Terri McFarland who recorded 791 strikeouts from 1989-1992. Birocci needs 16 more strikeouts to move into second place and 22 to become Iowa’s all-time leader.
The Hawkeyes blasted 14 hits in the six-inning game against Ball State. Iowa’s first hit of the contest came in the top of the first when Stacy May hit a solo home run over the left field fence to give the Hawkeyes an early advantage. Jenna Spratt knocked in Abby Ruff and Summer Downs hit a one-run single in the second to give Iowa a 3-0 lead. Iowa scored two more runs in the fourth when Downs recorded another RBI and a May single scored Mindy Heidgerken for a 5-0 lead. Ruff hit a three-run double in the sixth and the Hawkeyes added two more runs to win the game in convincing fashion.
Ali Arnold improved her record to 9-1 with an impressive two-hit shutout. Arnold struck out 10 batters and walked only two.
In game two against North Dakota State, Iowa scored all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and used solid defensive play to gain the victory. Birocci led off the fourth inning with a triple and Ruff followed with a double into left field to score the first run. Ruff then stole third and scored off a Spratt single.
Birocci struck out the side in the first, second and fourth innings in addition to striking out the first batter in five different innings. She allowed no runs on five hits and walked two batters.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Cedar Falls, IA to face Northern Iowa. Game time is set for 3 p.m.