May 13, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. –The nationally ranked Iowa softball team defeated Penn State today 1-0 in its first action of the 2005 Big Ten Conference Softball Tournament thanks to both the arm and the bat of all-Big Ten pitcher Lisa Birocci.
Iowa’s hard-throwing righthander went the distance for the Hawkeyes, collecting 12 strikeouts — including the 900th of her career — en route to her 27th victory of the season against just seven losses. The senior from Des Moines also drove in the game’s only run with a solo homerun on a 3-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the second inning.
Birocci’s shot – her seventh and the Hawkeyes 59th of the season – was one of only two hits allowed by Penn State’s ace, Missy Beseres, who pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Nittany Lions. The other was an infield single by Steph Ackerson in the bottom of the fifth.
Birocci allowed just one hit, a single by PSU’s Jenn Reynolds in the second inning.
Iowa will now play No. 2 Northwestern in Game 5 of the single-elimination tournament. That game was originally scheduled to begin at today at 4 p.m. Iowa time but will likely be delayed at least an hour as a result of the rain delay that interrupted the Iowa-Penn State contest.
The Hawkeyes lost both of its games earlier this year against the Wildcats, falling by 11-1 and 2-0 scores in games played on Apr. 3 in Evanston.
The victory upped Iowa’s record to 47-11. Penn State’s record dropped to 34-21.
Click HERE for more information about the 2005 Big Ten Conference Softball Tournament.