Hawkeyes Win Two, Nichols' Hitting Streak Ends

March 16, 2007

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

Sacramento, CA – The University of Iowa softball team won a pair of games Friday at the Capital Classic. Iowa defeated Georgia Southern, 9-0 in six innings and Mercer, 13-6. Junior Emily Nichols failed to record a hit in game two against Mercer, ending her Big Ten record hitting streak at 28 games.

Nichols went 3-4 in game one against Georgia Southern, but finished 0-5 in game two against Mercer. Her 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Big Ten history and is the seventh longest in NCAA history.

Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil threw her second consecutive shutout in game one against Georgia Southern. She allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out 11 batters.

Iowa plated four runs in the top of the first inning for an early lead. The Hawkeyes used three-straight singles by Nichols, freshman Taylor Leichsenring and junior Summer Downs to load the bases. Sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin then hit a ground ball that scored Nichols for the first run of the inning. Sophomore Rachel West followed with a bunt single to load the bases for the second time in the inning and sophomore Erin Riemersma followed with an RBI single to score Leichsenring. Freshman Lindsey Digmann then hit a two RBI single to score Downs and West.

The Hawkeyes added another run in the fifth when senior Mindy Heidgerken drew a bases loaded walk that plated West, who tallied her second bunt single of the game earlier in the inning.

Iowa scored an additional four runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. Downs walked and sophomore Callie Adreon took her place at first. After singles by McGlaughin and West, Riemersma hit an RBI single to left field to score Adreon. Digmann then grounded out to the first baseman, but McGlaughin crossed home on the play. Junior Stephanie Ackerson drove in the final two runs of the inning with a single down the left field line.

Nichols, West and Riemersma each collected three hits in game one. Iowa out-hit Georgia Southern, 15-3.

Mercer took an early 4-0 lead on Iowa in game two, but the Hawkeyes responded with six runs on seven hits in the second. Reimersma started the inning with a single and then stole second. Ackerson followed with an RBI double to score Riemersma for the first run of the inning. Heidgerken then hit her first home run of the season to cut Mercer’s lead to 4-3. Leichsenring kept the rally alive with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Downs. McGlaughlin hit a single to score Downs and West tallied her fourth triple of the season to plate McGlaughin for a 6-4 Hawkeye lead.

Iowa added one run in both the fourth and the fifth innings for an 8-4 advantage. Downs blasted her second home run of the season in the fourth and West scored on a sacrifice fly by Riemersma in the fifth.

Mercer fought back with two runs in the top of the sixth to make the score 8-6, but Iowa plated five runs in the bottom of the inning to seal the win. West, Riemersma and Heidgerken each hit RBI singles while sophomore Quinn Morelock recorded a pinch-hit, two RBI single.

Downs finished a perfect 4-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. McGlaughlin and West each collected three hits while Heidgerken finished 2-4 with three RBI.

Ackerson picked up the win, throwing just over six innings of relief. She allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six. Freshman Amanda Zust started game two and pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing one earned run on two hits.

Iowa concludes play at the Capital Classic Saturday when they face Santa Clara at 12 p.m. and Cal Poly at 2:30 p.m. Iowa defeated Santa Clara, 2-1, and lost to Cal Poly, 6-0, last weekend at the National Invitational Softball Tournament.