Hawkeyes Drop 13-Inning Marathon To Minnesota

April 20, 2008

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IOWA CITY – Iowa dropped a 1-0, 13-inning marathon to Minnesota in game two of Sunday’s twin-bill. The 25th-ranked Hawkeyes fall to 32-14 overall and 10-4 in Big Ten play.

Game two lasted three hours and 37 minutes in front of 651 fans dressed in pink for “Strikeout Cancer” day at Pearl Field.

Golden Gopher pitcher Briana Hassett threw all 13 innings after throwing all six innings of game one and kept the Hawkeye offense in check. She gave up seven hits while striking out 15 batters.

Minnesota scored the go-ahead run in the top of 13th off a Hawkeye error. Back-to-back singles by the Golden Gophers to start the frame put runners on first and second with no outs. A great diving stop by Riemersma on a pop fly gave the Hawkeyes one out and a Weil strikeout brought the Hawkeyes within one out of escaping. Amber Nelsen then hit a slow roller to Carmody at second, who flipped the ball to Brown at first, but the ball was dropped. On the play, Sila Fernandez never stopped running from second and crossed home to score the first run of the contest.

Iowa had a chance in the bottom of the 13th, but couldn’t plate the tying run. Freshman Chelsey Carmody recorded a two-out single followed by a Lindsey Digmann walk to bring up junior Colleen McGlaughlin, who grounded out to third to end the game.

Sophomore Amanda Zust started the game and threw six innings. She allowed no runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking three. Junior Brittany Weil tossed six innings relief and did not allow an earned run on six hits and also struck out nine.

Zust pitched Iowa out of a jam in the top of the third inning. Two Hawkeye errors started the frame to put runners on first and second with no outs. Zust then calmly struck out the side to get out of the inning.

Iowa threatened in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs, but couldn’t plate a run. McGlaughlin hit a soft ground ball back to the pitcher, who tossed home for the first out of the inning. Junior Erin Riemersma then hit a soft fly ball to center for the second out, and Golden Gopher centerfielder Casey Wheeler threw out Carmody at home for the final out of the inning.

The Hawkeyes once again wasted a great scoring chance in the bottom of the ninth inning. Digmann started the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McGlaughlin. The Golden Gophers elected to intentionally walk Riemersma, but one of the pitch-outs sailed to the backstop, allowing the winning run to advance just 60 feet away from home. However, senior Emily Nichols struck out and senior Summer Downs flew out to second, ending the threat.

Weil, who relieved Zust in the top of the eighth, worked her way out of a tough spot in the top of the 11th inning to give Iowa yet another at-bat. Weil gave up a leadoff double to Shannon Stemper, but recorded three-straight strikeouts, including the first two looking, to keep the Golden Gophers off the scoreboard.

The bottom of the 12th produced another golden scoring chance for Iowa, but a great defensive play kept a crooked number off the board. Nichols singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Downs then blooped a single to right field that deflected off Golden Gopher outfielder Colleen Powers’ glove, but she gathered the ball and threw out Nichols at home.

The Hawkeyes will step out of conference action for a game at Drake Tuesday. First pitch in Des Moines is scheduled for 6 p.m.