Feb. 11, 2006
Miami, FL – The University of Iowa softball team split games on day two of the Diamond Fun and Sun Classic, hosted by Florida International University. The Hawkeyes defeated North Carolina, 3-2 in eight innings but were defeated by Arkansas, 1-0.
Iowa started off strong against North Carolina in game one, scoring a run in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Mindy Heidgerken led off the bottom of the first with a walk and freshman Erin Riemersma laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to second. Stacy May followed with a double down the left field line to score Heidgerken for a 1-0 Iowa lead. The Hawkeyes added another run in the bottom of the sixth. May led the inning off with a double and senior Murray sacrificed her to third. Sophomore Summer Downs followed with a deep sacrifice fly to left field which allowed May to score.
North Carolina tied the contest in the top of the seventh off a two-home run by pinch-hitter Casey Testa. Erica Ennis reached first on a walk by senior pitcher Ali Arnold followed by Testa’s two-run shot. After a two-out single by North Carolina’s Erin Dudley, head coach Gayle Blevins made a pitching change and put freshman Brittany Weil in the circle. Weil stopped the seventh inning rally with a strikeout to end the inning. The Hawkeyes could not produce the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh, so the game went to extra innings.
International tiebreak rules were used, which places the last out of the previous inning on second base. After the Hawkeyes kept the Tar Heels in check in the top of the eighth, junior Jenna Spratt was placed on second for Iowa. Spratt advanced to third after a Heidgerken sacrifice and scored the winning run after an attempted pickoff throw from the North Carolina catcher sailed over third base.
May collected two of Iowa’s three hits with an RBI and a run scored. Heidgerken recorded Iowa’s other hit.
Weil picked up her third straight win, throwing one and one-third innings of relief. Arnold threw just over six innings and struck out three. In game two, Arkansas scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the second on a controversial call in right field. With bases loaded and one out, Jocelyne Moncrief hit a bloop single into right field and senior Kylie Murray made a diving stop and appeared to make the catch. Murray recovered and threw the ball to the infield cutoff, who relayed the ball to third base. The umpire ruled that Murray did not make the catch, which allowed the run to score, but the runner advancing from second to third was called out due to the force at third.
Arkansas pitchers Blaire Perry and Katy Henry combined for a one-hit shutout. Sophomore Jenna Spratt recorded Iowa’s lone hit with one out in the top of the sixth.
Weil threw her second complete game in as many days and suffered her first loss this season. She struck out seven batters while walking only one.
Iowa will be the No. 1 seed in tomorrow’s bracket play and will play at a time to be determined. Check www.hawkeyesports.com for Sunday’s schedule.