April 13, 2008
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IOWA CITY – Iowa came away with a 5-2, upset victory over 14th-ranked Northwestern in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader. The Hawkeyes handed Northwestern its first loss in conference play and only its 10th loss overall, snapping the Wildcats’ 10-game winning streak.
“This was an outstanding win for us,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “I thought Brittany (Weil) pitched outstanding in both games today and never lost her composure. Scoring runs early really lifted our confidence and we took command of the game. The Big Ten race is heating up and it’s great to be in the mix.”
All the action happened in the first inning, as all seven runs were scored in the frame. Three of the game’s seven hits and all four errors were also recorded in the first inning.
Northwestern took advantage of an Iowa error to plate two runs in the top of the first. Jordan Wheeler started the game with a double. Junior Brittany Weil then intentionally walked Tammy Williams and hit Michelle Batts with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Nicole Pauly hit a ball to left field that was dropped by Jenny Schuelke, allowing two runs to cross home.
The Wildcats committed three errors in the bottom of the frame to help Iowa gain a 5-2 lead after one inning. Freshman Chelsey Carmody reached on the first error of the frame and then stole second. Sophomore Lindsey Digmann slapped an infield single, but the attempted throw skipped in the dirt and rolled to the fence behind first, allowing a hustling Carmody to score. Northwestern pitcher Jessica Smith then walked three-straight Hawkeyes to plate Digmann for the tying run.
That forced a Wildcat pitching change, and game one winner Lauren Delaney replaced Smith in the circle. After Northwestern shortstop Tammy Williams made a diving stop on a line drive from Summer Downs for the first out of the frame, senior Emily Nichols roped an RBI single to right for the go-ahead run. Schuelke was then hit in the shoulder by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another Hawkeye run. Still with only one out in the inning, sophomore Taylor Leichsenring slapped a grounder back to Delaney in the circle, who bobbled the ball and did not attempt a throw to either home or first, giving Iowa a 5-2 lead.
Junior Brittany Weil tossed a gem against Northwestern in game two. She allowed no earned runs on two hits while striking out nine with two walks. After the first inning, Weil retired 17 of the last 19 batters of the game, with a single in the fourth and a walk in the sixth. She also struck out three of the last five batters.
Nichols went 2-3 with an RBI to lead Iowa at the plate.
“We are very excited to be right back in the Big Ten race,” Nichols said. “Brittany was really on today and she showed how competitive she is. Now we need to rest up for another Big Ten weekend.”
Iowa returns to action Friday night against Wisconsin. First pitch at Pearl Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.