April 9, 2006
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team (25-14) swept North Dakota State in a doubleheader, 4-0 and 6-1 Sunday afternoon at Pearl Field. The Hawkeye offense collected 16 total hits on the day.
The Hawkeyes gave starting pitcher Ali Arnold plenty of insurance runs to start game one, plating three in the bottom of the first. Junior Mindy Heidgerken reached second base on a throwing error by the North Dakota State starting pitcher and advanced to third on an Emily Nichols single. Freshman Erin Riemersma followed with a deep fly ball to center field that hit the wall, scoring Heidgerken for the first run of the inning. Senior Kylie Murray then roped a two-RBI double to the right field fence to score both Nichols and Riemersma.
Iowa added another run in the bottom of the sixth off an RBI single by junior Emily Gerlick that scored pinch runner Rachel West. Nichols led off the sixth with a double to left center field and was replaced by West at second. West advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Riemersma and scored on the single.
Nichols led the Hawkeye offense in game one with two hits. Murray finished with two RBI.
Arnold threw her sixth complete game and fourth shutout of the season in game one. She allowed only one hit and struck out six to improve her record to 8-6.
In game two, North Dakota State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third off an RBI single by Kelly Cantrell. The Hawkeyes responded in the bottom of the fourth off an RBI double by Nichols. Heidgerken started the inning with an infield single and took second on a May sacrifice bunt. Nichols followed a line shot that landed just fair down the left field line that scored Heidgerken to tie the game at 1-1.
Iowa used a five-run fifth inning to take the lead. Pinch hitter Brandi Sargent recorded a sacrifice fly to score Gerlick, who belted a double to left center field and advanced to third on a Baugh sacrifice bunt for the first run of the frame. Later in the inning, Heidgerken laid down a bunt with two outs and beat the throw to first. May was next up for the Hawkeyes and reached first after the North Dakota State first baseman dropped a fly ball and Heidgerken hustled to third. Nichols then hit a single to right field that scored Heidgerken for a 3-1 Iowa lead. Riemersma increased the Hawkeye lead to 6-1 with a towering three-run home run over the left field fence.
Four Hawkeyes collected multiple hits in game two, led by Riemersma who finished 2-3 with three RBI. Heidgerken, Nichols and Gerlick each had two hits as well.
Freshman Brittany Weil improved her record to 17-8 with the win, throwing a complete game while striking out three.
The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday when they travel to Macomb, IL to face Western Illinois. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. Fans who can’t make the trip can listen to the game live on AM 800 KXIC.