March 2, 2008
Columbus, GA – The University of Iowa softball team was defeated by Florida State, 2-0, Sunday in the final day of play at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Seminoles came out on top despite being out-hit by Iowa, 7-3.
Florida State scored the only two runs of the game in the top of the seventh off a Hawkeye error. With the bases loaded and only one out, a sharp ground ball was hit to senior Summer Downs at third. Her throw to home for the force out took senior catcher Emily Nichols, off the plate, and the throw rolled to the backstop, allowing two runs to score.
Iowa made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t force extra innings. Sophomore Katie Brown and Nichols started the inning with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with only one out. Freshman pinch-hitter Jenny Schuelke came inches away from hitting a walk-off, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh with a deep fly ball to left field, but the ball flew over the fence barely in foul territory. Schuelke then struck out swinging and freshman Chelsey Carmody flew out to left field to end the game.
The Hawkeyes had a chance to plate a run in the third with two infield singles by Downs and junior Rachel West, but couldn’t get a runner to cross home. Iowa collected two more infield singles by Downs and sophomore Taylor Leichsenring in the fifth, but once again couldn’t get a run on the scoreboard.
“I thought Brittany turned in another great performance,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “I think our pitching was the most consistent part of our weekend. We are struggling for timely hitting right now and in close games like today, we need to play clean defensively. Offensively, we need to start games the way we finish. We battled in the late innings, but we need to start that earlier and make teams play from behind.”
Iowa will travel to Riverside, CA, next weekend to compete in the Amy S. Harrison Classic. The Hawkeyes will open the tournament against Utah Valley Friday at 2 p.m.