Feb. 29, 2008
Columbus, GA – The University of Iowa softball team finished day one of the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 1-1 record. The Hawkeyes fell to No. 23 North Carolina, 1-0, but bounced back to defeat Tennessee Tech, 8-1.
In game two against Tennessee Tech, the Hawkeyes took a 4-0 lead in their first at bat. Junior Rachel West was hit by a pitch and then stole second. She advanced to third and scored on two wild pitches for the first run of the game. Junior Colleen McGlaughlin and sophomore Lindsey Digmann both reached base later in the inning and scored when junior Erin Riemersma sent a line drive over the left field fence for her second home run of the season.
McGlaughlin increased Iowa’s lead to 5-0 in the third with her first home run of the season. She took a 2-2 pitch and hit a towering solo home run that sailed well over the left field fence.
The Hawkeyes tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding 8-0 lead. Freshman Lindsey Major walked and junior Lindsey Emery took her place at first. Emery advanced to second on a wild pitch and then scored on a sharp single up the middle by freshman Chelsey Carmody. Carmody then stole second base and moved to third on an infield single by West, who then hustled to second when the Tennessee Tech infield failed to cover the base. Carmody later scored on a wild pitch and West crossed home on a groundout by McGlaughlin.
Tennessee Tech scored one run in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game alive, preventing Iowa to walk away with a run-rule win. Iowa held the Golden Eagles scoreless in the final two innings for the win.
Riemersma finished 3-4 with three RBI to lead the Hawkeyes at the plate. West collected two hits while three other Hawkeyes had one hit.
Sophomore Amanda Zust tossed a complete game for her fourth win of the season. She gave up one run on six hits and struck out five.
“We jumped out to a great start, especially with Erin’s home run,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “We made Tennessee Tech play from behind, which is a good position to be in. We still need to work on consistency, especially from the offensive end.”
No. 23 North Carolina came out on top in game one, despite collecting only one hit off junior Brittany Weil. Iowa out-hit the Tar Heels, 4-1.
Weil had an impressive outing despite the loss. She took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up her only hit of the game. North Carolina sacrificed the runner to second and third base before Weil allowed her only hit of the game, which was an RBI single.
Only three North Carolina batters reached base, two by walk and one off the lone hit. Weil retired the first eight batters of the game before her first walk in the third. She then sat down the next six in a row before her second walk in the sixth, which led to the only run of the game. She finished the game with seven strikeouts.
Iowa loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but couldn’t get a run across the plate. With two outs, sophomore Katie Brown drew a walk, followed by back-to-back infield singles by sophomore Taylor Leichsenring and West to load the bases. Carmody then stepped into the box, but a ground ball to second base ended the threat.
“It was a tough loss against North Carolina,” Weil said. “We just couldn’t get some things to fall our way. We need to be able to come away with a win in a game like that versus a ranked opponent.”
“Our offense struggled in game one,” Blevins said. “We need to be more productive and we expect that to start happening.”
The Hawkeyes will return action Saturday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic against two top 20 teams. Iowa will face 19th-ranked DePaul at 3 p.m. and 16th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette at 5:30 p.m.