March 31, 2006
Urbana, IL – The University of Iowa softball team opened Big Ten play with a 9-0 victory over Illinois Friday night. The Hawkeyes plated five runs in the first inning and collected 15 hits on the night.
Iowa started off firing in the first inning with back-to-back singles by Stacy May and Mindy Heidgerken. Sophomore Emily Nichols then roped a two-RBI double for a quick 2-0 lead. After a Kylie Murray sacrifice bunt, sophomore Summer Downs blasted her second home run of the season for a 4-0 lead. Next up was freshman Erin Riemersma who followed with a solo home run for the fifth run of the first frame. This is the second game in a row that the Hawkeyes have hit back-to-back home runs.
The Hawkeyes tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning. May once again started the scoring rally with a single to left field and Heidgerken followed with a single past the Illini shortstop. Murray then drew a one out walk and Downs belted a two-RBI double to left field, plating both May and Heidgerken.
May once again was the catalyst for the Hawkeye offense in the seventh inning when she hit a two-RBI double that scored sophomore Steph Ackerson and freshman Colleen McGlaughlin for the 9-0 advantage.
Freshman pitcher Brittany Weil threw a two-hit shutout and struck out nine batters in her first Big Ten start. Weil had a one-hitter through six and two-thirds innings and improved her overall record to 12-7.
May, Riemersma and Downs each collected three hits against Illinois. Downs finished 3-4 with four RBI while May and Nichols each finished with two RBI.
The Hawkeyes will face the Illini again at 12 p.m. Saturday.