April 10, 2005
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team used two dominating performances from pitchers Ali Arnold and Lisa Birocci on Sunday to sweep the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes won game one, 5-0 and game two, 3-0.
Arnold and Birocci gave up only three runs combined in 14 innings of work. The duo allowed no runs and struck out a total of 21 batters while walking only one.
In game one, Iowa scored two runs in the bottom of the first to gain an early lead. After a Summer Downs walk, Kylie Murray singled into right and Downs advanced to third. Mindy Heidgerken replaced Murray on the base paths and the Hawkeyes executed a double steal to perfection, scoring Downs for the first run. Heidgerken then stole third and Emily Nichols hit a sac fly to center field for the second run of the inning.
Natalie Johnson reached base on an error to lead off the second inning and Abby Ruff moved her to third with a sac bunt. Jenna Spratt slapped a single down the third base line to score Johnson and Iowa lead, 3-0.
The Hawkeyes added two more runs in the third inning. Sami Baugh crushed a double to left field and Birocci followed with a single. Natalie Johnson hit a shot back to the pitcher but knocked in Baugh for a 4-0 lead. Ruff hit a hot shot to the Indiana shortstop, who bobbled the ball, allowing Birocci to score for the final run of the contest.
Birocci was outstanding for the Hawkeyes in the circle, throwing a complete game, one-hit shutout. The senior struck out 10 batters and walked only one.
Game two remained scoreless until Iowa’s half of the fifth inning. Heidgerken hit a two-out double to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. An error by the Indiana third baseman allowed Spratt to reach base and Heidgerken to score the first run of the game. Stacy May blasted an RBI double that was inches away from clearing the center field fence for the final run of the inning.
Ruff led off the top half of the seventh by reaching second on a throwing error and Heidgerken advanced her to third on a sac bunt. Spratt hit a shot back to the pitcher who mishandled the ball, allowing Ruff to score to make the final count, 3-0.
Arnold pitched a gem in game two, throwing Iowa’s second complete game shutout on the day. She gave up only two hits while striking out 11 of the 23 batters she faced and did not allow a walk.
The Hawkeyes host William Penn on Wednesday. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 6 p.m.