Thrillers In The Desert

Feb. 18, 2006

Box Score

Tempe, AZ – The University of Iowa softball team played two exciting games in day two of the Littlewood Classic. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois State, 10-2 in five innings but fell, 10-7 in a nine inning thriller against No. 23 Arizona State.

Arizona State wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning in game two when Kim Zadrozny belted a three-run home run to right-center field with two outs.

May tried her best to help Iowa in the bottom half of the first by smacking a deep fly ball to left field. Arizona State left fielder Jackie Vasquez robbed May of a home run, reaching over the fence and pulling the ball back into play for the out.

The Sun Devils added another run in the top of the third off another home run by Katie Cochran but the Hawkeyes answered with their own home run off the bat of junior Sami Baugh in the bottom of the fifth. Baugh connected on a 1-0 count and cleared the scoreboard in left field. Iowa added another run in the fifth when Nichols hit an RBI single to center field that scored Heidgerken.

Iowa tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Riemersma singled followed by a Baugh walk. Iowa loaded the bases with one out after freshman Colleen McGlaughlin hit a sharp ground ball that the Sun Devil shortstop mishandled. Heidgerken tied the contest with a two-RBI single to shallow center field that scored Riemersma and freshman Callie Adreon who pinch-ran for Baugh. Neither team could plate the go-ahead run, so international tie-break rules were used in extra innings.

Arizona State struck first in the top of the eighth with back-to-back home runs for a 7-4 lead. Riemersma was placed on second to start the bottom half of the eighth and Baugh attempted a sacrifice to move her to third. The Arizona State shortstop booted the bunt which allowed Riemersma to advance to third and Baugh to second with no outs. After two strikeouts by Sun Devil pitcher Katie Burkhardt, Heidgerken laid down a bunt and avoided the tag at first which plated Riemersma from third. Nichols then smashed a single down the third base line which scored Baugh from third and a hustling Heidgerken from first to tie the game a 7-7. On the play however, Nichols was picked off at second base to end the inning.

The Sun Devils regained the lead for good in the top of the ninth off a two-RBI double from Ashley Wershky and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Bianca Cruz.

Heidgerken and Nichols each collected three hits and three RBI for Iowa. Weil threw all nine innings in the loss and struck out three.

Iowa took an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game one against Illinois State. Senior Stacy May singled with two outs, followed by a double from senior Kylie Murray. Sophomore Summer Downs then ripped a two-RBI single to give Iowa a 2-0 lead. Freshman Erin Riemersma recorded Iowa’s fourth straight hit of the inning with a towering two-run home run to left field, her first as a Hawkeye.

Riemersma stayed hot in her second at bat, belting another two-run home run to the exact same spot in left field. The home run scored freshman pinch-runner Rachel West, who replaced Murray on the basepaths after a walk.

Murray made the score 8-0 in the top of the fourth with Iowa’s third home run of the game. May drew a two-out walk and Murray followed with her third home of the season.

Illinois State responded with a two-run home run by Randi Patton in the bottom of the fourth but the Hawkeyes tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth. Freshman Quinn Morelock led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Steph Ackerson sacrifice bunt. Later in the inning, junior Mindy Heidgerken drew a walk with two outs and sophomore Emily Nichols roped a two-RBI double to the center field wall scoring Morelock from second and Heidgerken from first.

Riemersma and Murray each collected two hits for the Hawkeyes. Riemersma blasted two home runs and collected four RBI while Murray went 2-2 with a home run, double and two RBI.

Senior Ali Arnold recorded her first victory of the season. Arnold gave up four hits and struck out five.

“Even in the loss to Arizona State, I thought we played extremely well today,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “A game like that is very good preparation for later in the season. We fought hard for the entire game and I am really pleased how we responded. Games like that are great preparations for tough games on the road later in the season and in the Big Ten Conference.”

Iowa will get another shot at Arizona State Sunday morning at the Littlewood Classic. Game time is set for 10:30 a.m.