Hawkeyes Hold On For Win Over FIU

March 7, 2009

LAKEWOOD, CA – The University of Iowa softball team held off a late rally by FIU, taking the night cap at the Long Beach Invitational, 6-5. The Golden Panthers scored all five runs in the final two innings, but the Hawkeyes managed to get the win.

Iowa took the lead in the fourth, plating four runs in the frame. Sophomore Chelsey Carmody started the rally with a one-out single and moved to third on a double by freshman Missy Mazur. Freshman Liz Watkins drew a walk to load the bases, and senior Sam Heinzman hit a sharp grounder to first that allowed a hustling Carmody to beat the throw home. One batter later with the bases still loaded, senior Quinn Morelock dropped a single into left field, scoring Mazur and pinch-runner Callie Adreon. The throw home on the play sailed to the backstop, and heads-up baserunning by Heinzman gave Iowa its fourth run of the inning.

FIU made things interesting in the bottom of the sixth when Jenny Welch recorded a three-run home run with one out to bring the Golden Panthers within one at 4-3 Junior Amanda Zust relieved starter Brittany Weil after the long ball and tallied a strikeout and ground ball to get the Hawkeyes out of the inning.

Iowa took advantage of two FIU errors in the top of the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. Senior Colleen McGlaughlin walked and was replaced by sophomore Jenny Schuelke, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Katie Brown. Senior Rachel West then singled on a bunt and caught the FIU defense napping, taking second base after the Golden Panthers left it unoccupied. The attempted throw to catch West at second bounced off her leg, allowing Schuelke to score and West to move to third. Carmody followed with a hard ground ball that was bobbled at third, and West scored easily.

FIU mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but the Hawkeyes held on for the win. The Golden Panthers drew a leadoff walk and recorded a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Carmody quieted the FIU crowd with a double play, tagging the runner between first and second before throwing out the hitter at first. FIU’s Katie Bell followed with an RBI single up the middle to make the count 6-4, and Weil re-entered the game in the circle. She also surrendered an RBI single to bring the Golden Panthers within one at 6-5. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Weil worked a full count to Lauren Spiers, but got her to strike out looking to end the game.

Weil picked up her eighth win of the season, throwing a total of 5.2 innings. She allowed three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Zust threw 1.1 innings of relief.

Iowa will travel up the road to Fullerton Sunday to face Cal State Fullerton at 11 a.m. (CT).