April 12, 2008
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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team shutout Michigan State for the second time in as many days Saturday, winning 5-0. The Hawkeyes now stand at 28-12 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten after playing Saturday’s game through a steady wintry mix of rain and snow.
“We are very fortunate to have our entire lineup playing extremely well,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “In this conference, you need to come ready to play everyday. We once again played excellent in the elements today, which is great to see. Northwestern is playing very well right now and they are one of the best teams we will face this year. Tomorrow is going to be a challenge, but we are ready.”
Back-to-back RBI doubles by seniors Summer Downs and Emily Nichols gave Iowa a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Junior Erin Riemersma started the inning with a walk and then stole second base. She scored on the first RBI double of the inning by Downs. Nichols drove in Downs with an RBI double to left-center field for the second run of the frame.
Junior Colleen McGlaughlin gave Iowa a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third with a towering solo home run to left field. The long ball was McGlaughlin’s fifth home run of the season.
Iowa plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Freshman Chelsey Carmody singled to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Lindsey Digmann. Carmody advanced to third when a fly ball off the bat of McGlaughlin was dropped and a Michigan State passed ball allowed Carmody to score. Junior Heidi Daumen replaced McGlaughlin at second and hustled to third on a Riemersma single. Daumen crossed home on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Katie Brown.
Junior Brittany Weil and the Hawkeye defense worked out of a jam in the top of the sixth to keep the shutout intact. Weil gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, the second of which was lined off her knee. After Weil took a few moments to gather herself, Michigan State recorded its third-straight single to load the bases with no outs. Weil was then able to record three-straight fly ball outs with the bases jammed to escape the inning.
Nichols finished with two hits while five other Hawkeyes added one.
“When playing in the Midwest, you have to be able to handle any type of weather,” McGlaughlin said. We have done that for two-straight games. Our defense and pitching has been solid and if our offense continues to come out strong early, we will have plenty of chances for wins.”
Weil picked up her 17th win of the season, throwing 3.2 innings in relief. She struck out three and walked two. Sophomore Amanda Zust started the game and threw 3.1 innings and only gave up only one hit.
Iowa will host No. 14 Northwestern in a doubleheader starting at noon Sunday.