Hawkeyes Escape With 5-4 Win Over Northern Iowa

April 23, 2008

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IOWA CITY – The 25th-ranked University of Iowa softball team defeated Northern Iowa, 5-4, Wednesday night at Pearl Field. Iowa moves to 33-15 overall on the season.

“We needed everything we had today,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “Give a lot of credit to Northern Iowa, they fought hard. We have had enough extra inning games for a while, so it was good to get a win in seven innings.”

For the second-straight game, Iowa plated a run in its first at-bat, courtesy of junior Colleen McGlaughlin. Freshman Chelsey Carmody started the inning with a single off the glove of UNI third baseman Sarah Bakey. Carmody then stole second and scored on a McGlaughlin RBI single through the left side of the infield.

The Hawkeyes doubled their lead in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Lindsey Digmann slapped a single to right field and hustled to third on a double by McGlaughlin. Junior Erin Riemersma then smacked a full-count pitch to right field, allowing Digmann to score Iowa’s second run of the contest.

Northern Iowa tied the game in the top of the sixth with back-to-back RBI hits. Ashley Lepley singled and scored on an RBI triple by Megan Machovec, who then scored on an RBI single by Stephanie Aguero.

Iowa plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth to re-gain the lead at 5-2. Sophomore Katie Brown started the frame with a single and was lifted for junior Heidi Daumen at first. Sophomore Taylor Leichsenring entered as a pinch-hitter and recorded an infield single to put two runners on base. After junior Quinn Morelock sacrificed the runners to second and third, senior Summer Downs delivered a pinch-hit, RBI single to left, scoring Daumen. Carmody then drove in two runs with a single up the middle to complete the three-run sixth.

Northern Iowa made things interesting in the top of the seventh, but Iowa managed to escape with the win. Back-to-back singles followed by a Hawkeye error loaded the bases with no outs. Junior Brittany Weil then relieved sophomore Amanda Zust in the circle, but gave up a single down the left field line, bringing the Panthers within one at 5-4. Weil then struck out the next two batters and then recorded a foul fly ball to right for her second save of the season.

Carmody and McGlaughlin each had two hits while Carmody added two RBI.

“We had some nice timely hitting today,” Carmody said. “It’s nice to get a win after some tough losses. Every time we come out, it’s a big game and now we need to play well this weekend.”

Zust started the game and picked up her 13th win of the season. She tossed six innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Weil threw one inning in relief with two strikeouts.

Iowa returns to Big Ten action Friday when they travel to West Lafayette, IN, to face Purdue. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. (CDT).