Feb. 24, 2007
Louisville, KY – The University of Iowa softball team split a pair of games in its opening day of the Red and Black Tournament in Louisville, KY. Iowa handed Kent State its first loss of the season by a 5-2 score, but fell to Kansas, 7-3 in cold and wet conditions.
In game one, Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when sophomore Callie Adreon scored off a Kent State error. Senior Mindy Heidgerken attempted a bunt single with two outs, but Kent State first baseman Jamie Fitzpatrick’s throw was in the dirt, which allowed Adreon to score from third.
Iowa increased its lead to 3-0 in the third inning. Sophomore Erin Riemersma started the inning with a walk and stole second. Junior Emily Nichols then singled to put Riemersma on third and she scored off an RBI single by sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin. Nichols scored later in the inning off a wild pitch.
The Hawkeyes tacked on two more runs in the sixth for a 5-0 advantage. Junior Summer Downs led off with a double and sophomore Rachel West took her place at second. West then stole third and scored on an RBI double by senior Sami Baugh. Later in the inning, senior Jenna Spratt recorded an infield single and took an uncovered second base. She advanced to third and scored off two wild pitches for the 5-0 lead.
Kent State trimmed Iowa’s lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double by Megan Verde and an RBI single by Amy Hair, both with two outs. Things got interesting later in the inning when Kent State had the bases loaded, but Zust struck out Kent State’s Jessica Kramb looking to end the inning.
Kent State had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh with one out, but a strikeout by Zust and a ground ball ended the game.
Zust was aided by two great double plays by the Iowa defense. Junior Stephanie Ackerson made a diving catch on a bunt attempt and threw back to first base to double-up a runner in the second inning. Kent State had runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth when Nichols fielded a ground ball, stepped on third for the force, and fired across the diamond to a stretched Ackerson for another double play.
Zust threw her fourth complete game of the season in the win. She recorded seven strikeouts and seven walks.
Kansas scored five of its runs in the third inning off a sacrifice fly by Amanda Jobe, an RBI single by Kassie Humphreys and a three-RBI double by Dougie McCaulley.
Iowa had two chances to score in the bottom of the third, but the Kansas outfield threw out two Hawkeye runners at home plate to maintain the shutout.
Nichols plated two Iowa runners to trim Kansas’ lead to 5-2 in the fifth. Freshman Lindsey Digmann reached first on a Kansas error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ackerson. After a Riemersma walk, Nichols belted a two-RBI double that glanced off the Jayhawk right fielder, scoring both Digmann and Riemersma.
Kansas scored two more runs in the top of the seventh off a two-RBI double by Sara Ramirez.
Iowa battled back in its last at bat with one run and two hits, but couldn’t tie the contest. Riemersma led off the inning with a walk and scored on an RBI-double by Downs. McGlaughlin also singled to put runners on first and third, but a groundout ended the contest.
Nichols finished game two 2-4 with two RBI.
Ackerson’s record fell to 3-2 with the loss. She threw three innings and gave up five runs on three hits, but only one of the runs was earned. She struck out two and walked six. Zust threw four innings of relief and gave up two runs along with three strikeouts and three walks.
Due to inclement weather in the Louisville area, Sunday’s schedule has been modified. Iowa will play Louisville Sunday at 9 a.m. and will have a rematch against Kansas at 11 a.m.