March 28, 2007
DeKalb, IL – The University of Iowa softball team defeated Northern Illinois, 4-2 in its final game before Big Ten play. Sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give Iowa the win.
Northern Illinois took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman pitcher Amanda Zust had not allowed thru four and two-thirds innings before allowing a two-out, RBI double by Randi Kreiter. Sophomore Brittany Weil then relieved Zust and after giving up an infield single to load the bases, struck out Ashley Clement to end the inning.
Iowa battled back in the top of the sixth with three runs to take a 3-1 advantage. Freshman Taylor Leichsenring singled and moved to third on a double by junior Emily Nichols. Junior Summer Downs then hit a ground ball to NIU’s Michelle Nendza at third base, who fired across the diamond for the out. On the throw, however, Leichsenring took off for home and beat the throw from first base to the plate to tie the game at 1-1. McGlaughlin followed with a towering home run to straight-away center, with a strong wind blowing in, to give Iowa a 3-1 lead.
The Hawkeyes added another run in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 lead. Senior Mindy Heidgerken singled and then stole second. The attempted pick-off throw rolled into the outfield and a hustling Heidgerken slid safely into third. Sophomore Erin Riemersma then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Heidgerken.
Northern Illinois threatened with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but a ground ball to Riemersma at shortstop ended the contest.
Nichols finished a perfect 3-3 while McGlaughlin collected two hits and two RBI to lead the Hawkeye offense.
Weil earned her sixth win of the season in just over three innings of relief. She struck out four and walked two. Zust started the game and threw just over three innings, striking out four and walking four.
Iowa opens up Big Ten play against Indiana Friday at 2 p.m. in Bloomington.