May 13, 2005
Ann Arbor, MI – The University of Iowa softball team advanced to the semifinal round of the 2005 Big Ten softball tournament with a 1-0 win over Penn State. The Hawkeyes were scheduled to face Northwestern in the semifinals, but severe weather forced officials to postpone the game to Saturday at 8 a.m.
The Hawkeyes could not escape Mother Nature in Ann Arbor, as the start of game one was delayed a half an hour and another 30 minute delay was called shortly after the second inning began. Game two against Northwestern was slated for a 4:50 p.m. start, but another batch of heavy rain, hail and win caused the game to be postponed.
Game one against Penn State was a pitcher’s dual, with only four combined hits in the contest. Lisa Birocci stole the show in game one, throwing a complete game, one-hit shutout while striking out 12 batters. She also collected two of Iowa’s three hits, including the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.
After Birocci’s home run, the Hawkeyes threatened once again in the fifth. Steph Ackerson beat out an infield single, followed by a Stacy May walk. Summer Downs then walked to load the bases for Kylie Murray, but a groundout to the Penn State pitcher ended the inning. Birocci recorded six of her 12 strikeouts in the last three innings to secure the win for the Hawkeyes.
For an updated schedule of the 2005 Big Ten softball tournament, visit www.bigten.org.