Feb. 10, 2006
Miami, FL – The University of Iowa softball team started the 2006 campaign 2-0 after wins against No. 10 Georgia (6-5) and Florida International (1-0) at the Diamond Sports Fun and Sun Classic. The Hawkeyes collected 11 hits on the day.
Iowa scored three runs in the top of the second in game one against Georgia. Senior Kylie Murray led off with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Junior Sami Baugh laid down a sacrifice bunt but reached second on a throwing error which scored Murray. Freshman Colleen McGlaughlin followed with another sacrifice bunt attempt but another Georgia error allowed her to reach second and Baugh to score. Sophomore Steph Ackerson executed Iowa’s third sacrifice bunt in a row to move McGlaughin to third and junior Mindy Hiedgerken hit an RBI single to plate McGlaughlin.
Iowa tacked on another run to increase the lead to 4-0. Senior Stacy May led off with a double to left center and sophomore Summer Downs advanced her to third on a sacrifice bunt. Murray roped a single to center field to score May.
Georgia fought back in the bottom of the third with three runs. Megan McAllister hit a two-RBI double and Ashley Godfrey singled to score McAllister and the Bulldogs were only down one run.
Georgia took the lead in the bottom of the fifth after Kellie Middleton led off with a double and scored of a Jessica Doucette double. Doucette scored off a Downs throwing error to take the lead. McCallister tried to score on a passed ball, but was tagged out by freshman pitcher Brittany Weil at the plate.
Iowa regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Murray led off the inning with a towering home run over the left field fence to tie the contest at 5-5. Steph Ackerson reached first on an error by the Georgia shortstop and was replaced on the basepaths by freshman Rachel West, who stole second. Weil followed with a line shot to centerfield and West collided with the Georgia shortstop on her way to third. West recovered and was thrown out at the plate, but the home plate umpired called obstruction and awarded Iowa the go-ahead run.
Murray recorded two hits, two RBI and two runs scored while May had two hits and one run scored.
Weil picked up the win in her first collegiate appearance. She threw three innings of relief and struck out two batters including one to end the game. Senior Ali Arnold started the game and threw four innings, striking out two.
In game two, Iowa took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Baugh started off the inning with a walk and West took her place on first. McGlaughlin then grounded out to third but West advanced to second. After an Ackerson groundout, freshman Quinn Morelock was hit by a pitch. She then stole second, but West was caught in a rundown between third and home. The FIU catcher attempted to throw West out at third but the throw sailed into the outfield and West scored the only run of the contest.
Weil, who had a one-hitter through six innings, gave up two hits and an intentional walk to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Weil then struck out FIU’s cleanup batter to escape the inning. She threw a complete game and struck out four batters in her first start as a Hawkeye.
“I thought this was a real good first day for us,” head coach Gayle Blevins said. “We made a good transition to playing outside. I was really pleased with our pitching in both games. We had a strong offensive attack in the first game, but solid pitching and defense kept us in both contests. Kylie and Stacy really helped our offense today.”
Iowa will play both North Carolina and Arkansas Saturday. The Hawkeyes face the Tar Heels at 9 a.m. and the Razorbacks at 11 a.m.