Feb. 24, 2008
Tempe, AZ – The University of Iowa softball team scored five unanswered runs to complete a 5-4, comeback win over Radford in the final day of play at the Littlewood Classic. Sophomore Katie Brown led the Hawkeyes at the plate, going 3-3 with three RBI.
“It was a tough start and we kind of dug ourselves a hole,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “It was good to see us respond and we did a great job getting runs when we needed them. Katie (Brown) had three great at-bats and Lindsey (Digmann) really put pressure on Radford’s defense. This was a good win for us today.”
Radford jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first. A leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles plated the first run of the game for the Highlanders. Sarah Himan then hit a two-RBI double to the center field fence, which forced Iowa to make a pitching change. Junior Brittany Weil relieved sophomore Amanda Zust, and recorded a strikeout and a fly ball to get out of the inning. Zust had thrown 27 innings without allowing an earned run prior to Sunday’s game.
The Highlanders tacked on another run in the second off a squeeze bunt for a 4-0 advantage, but Iowa chipped away in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Summer Downs started the inning with a walk and junior Callie Adreon took her place at first. Adreon then stole second and scored on a sharp single down the left field line by Brown. Junior Quinn Morelock then pinch-ran for Brown, and moved to third on an infield single by sophomore Taylor Leichsenring. Morelock scored on a double-steal to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Brown provided two more RBI in the third inning to tie the contest. Junior Erin Riemersma reached on an error followed by a double off the bat of senior Emily Nichols. Brown then blooped a two-RBI single to center and both runners crossed the plate to knot the score at 4-4.
Iowa took advantage of its speed to take the lead in the fourth. Junior Rachel West led off the inning when she beat out a throw to first for an infield single. West then stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Iowa’s second infield single of the inning came from sophomore Lindsey Digmann, which allowed West to score the go-ahead run.
Digmann finished went 3-4 with an RBI while Nichols and West each collected two hits. As a team, Iowa swiped seven bases, with Digmann and West recording two.
“It was great how our team bounced back after being down early,” Brown said. “The girls in front of me did a good job of getting into scoring position. I just went up with an aggressive attitude and it worked out.”
Weil threw 6.2 innings in relief for her fifth win of the season. She allowed only one hit and struck out seven.
Iowa will travel to the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA, next weekend. The Hawkeyes are scheduled to face two top 25 teams and will open the tournament against North Carolina Friday at 12:30 p.m.