April 21, 2007
IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team shut out Penn State for the second time in as many days, 7-0, Saturday at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes move to 33-17 overall and 8-4 in the Big Ten.
Junior Emily Nichols gave Iowa a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with a home run that wrapped around the foul pole in left field. Nichols now has 11 home runs this season and 32 in her career.
The Hawkeyes doubled their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth with a perfectly executed squeeze play. Sophomore Rachel West drew a one-out walk and then stole second. With two outs in the inning, West stole third and senior Mindy Heidgerken followed with a squeeze bunt down the first base line. Heidgerken easily beat the throw to first, which allowed West to score.
Iowa took command of the game with a five-spot in the top of the seventh for a 7-0 advantage. Sophomore Quinn Morelock started the inning with a pinch-hit double and Heidgerken re-entered at second base. Freshman Lindsey Digmann then hit a ground ball back to Penn State pitcher Ashley Esparza who tried to get Heidgerken at third, but she slid safely under the tag. Heidgerken scored later in the inning on a fielder’s choice RBI by sophomore Taylor Leichsenring. Penn State then elected to intentionally walk Nichols, but the pitch-out sailed to the backstop` allowing Digmann to cross the plate from third. Junior Summer Downs followed with a three-run home run to left field for the 7-0 score.
Sophomore Brittany Weil threw her second complete game shutout in a row against Penn State. She gave up five hits while striking out eight and walking only two.
Eight different Hawkeyes collected a hit against Penn State.
Iowa will host Ohio State in a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Sunday.
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