May 5, 2007
IOWA CITY – Sophomore Erin Riemersma hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Iowa (37-20, 10-7) a thrilling 7-6, extra-inning win over Illinois (30-24, 7-8). The Hawkeyes assured themselves a fourth place finish in the Big Ten and the No. 4 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament with the win.
Riemersma’s home run put an end to a very exciting contest with seven lead changes and two ties.
Illinois plated a run in the top of the eighth off an Iowa passed ball to take a 6-5 lead. The Fighting Illini had the bases loaded with two outs and Weil got Armstrong to swing at strike three. But on the play, the ball bounced out of Emily Nichols’ glove, allowing Hope Howell to score to go-ahead run from third base.
Pinch-hitter Sami Baugh drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth and Riemersma followed with her fifth home run of the season to seal the Hawkeye victory.
Illinois jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first with back-to-back doubles by Shanna Diller and Lana Armstrong.
Iowa took advantage of two wild pitches by Illinois starting pitcher Claire DeVreese to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Quinn Morelock started the rally with a double to the center field fence and senior Mindy Heidgerken and Riemersma drew walks to load the bases. DeVreese sailed a pitch to sophomore Taylor Leichsenring to the backstop that allowed Morelock to cross the plate. DeVreese’s next pitch also flew past Illinois catcher Lana Armstrong and Heidgerken slid home safely for a 2-1 lead. Leichsenring then legged out an infield single and Riemersma scored for a 3-1 advantage.
Illinois regained the lead in the top of the third with a three-run home run by Makenzie Smith. Sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil gave up a single and a walk before Smith’s home run.
Morelock tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the third with a hard line-drive home run over the left field fence.
The Fighting Illini inched ahead in the top of the fifth with an RBI double by Sydney Lisy for a 5-4 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by junior Summer Downs and sophomore Colleen McGlaughlin to start the bottom of the fifth tied the game again, this time at 5-5. Downs roped a double to the left field fence and senior Jenna Spratt took her place at second. Spratt scored on McGlaughlin’s double that rolled to the center field fence.
Riemersma, Leichsenring and Morelock each finished with two hits while Downs, McGlaughlin and West each recorded one.
Weil went the distance for Iowa, throwing all eight innings. She allowed five earned runs on six hits and struck out seven.
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