May 17, 2008
IOWA CITY – Behind strong pitching, timely hitting and solid defense, the Iowa Hawkeyes bounced Long Beach State from the NCAA Tournament Saturday evening by a final score of 5-2. The Hawkeyes advance to play in the Regional final Sunday afternoon, where they will face the Missouri Tigers at 1:00 p.m. (CDT). The game will be webcast live on bigtennetwork.com.
The Iowa table-setters, freshman leadoff hitter Chelsey Carmody and No. 2 hitter Taylor Leichsenring, helped the Hawkeyes obtain their strongest offensive output of the NCAA Tournament thus far. The duo went 5-for-7 at the plate, scored three runs and stole two bases (both by Leichsenring). Iowa’s five runs scored are the most the Hawkeyes have had in an NCAA Tournament game since 2003.
The Hawkeyes (42-19) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. The freshman Carmody ripped an opposite field double then moved to third on an infield single from Leichsenring. In an early aggressive move from Head Coach Gayle Blevins, senior Summer Downs laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Carmody from third to give Iowa the 1-0 lead.
Junior Erin Riemersma roped an RBI double over the head of left fielder Lacy Tyler to score pinch-runner Callie Adreon from second base and increase the Hawkeyes’ lead to 2-0. Adreon was pinch-running for Katie Brown, who two batters earlier hit a double off the top of the wall in left center field. Jenny Schuelke pinch-hit for Emily Nichols and reached on an error by shortstop Jessica Beaver that scored Riemersma from second to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.
Long Beach State (40-17) cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth via a two-run triple by Danielle Linke, but the Hawkeyes would respond in the bottom of the inning. Colleen McGlaughlin, Iowa’s hero in the Game Four victory over Creighton, slapped a two RBI single into left field that scored both Carmody and Leichsenring to increase the lead to 5-2.
Iowa starter Brittany Weil (28-14) was aided by some fantastic defensive plays in the field. In the third inning, center fielder Quinn Morelock covered ground to chase down Jessica Beaver’s well-hit ball at the warning track. Then, in the sixth inning with two runners on and nobody out, left fielder Lindsey Digmann made a tremendous diving catch to keep the runners at bay.
With the 49ers threatening, Weil worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth inning, striking out Brooke LeSage looking. On the day, Iowa’s junior threw her third complete-game in a row after tossing seven strong innings, giving up only two runs on eight hits, with five strikeouts.
Brooke Turner (27-6) was the losing pitcher. The freshman from Buena Park, CA, pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits to go along with four strikeouts.
In order to be crowned Regional Champion, Iowa will have to beat Missouri twice Sunday. The Tigers defeated the Hawkeyes Friday night 3-2 on a walk-off home run by Lindsey Ubrun. If the Hawkeyes win the first game, the two teams will meet again 35 minutes after the ending of the first game to see who advances to the Super Regional.
Fans can view Sunday’s NCAA Regional final by clicking HERE for bigtennetwork.com.
LBSU 000 020 0 2 8 1IOWA 100 220 0 5 11 3
WP: Brittany Weil (28-14)
LP: Brooke Turner (27-6)