April 21, 2009
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CEDAR FALLS, IA – The No. 24 University of Iowa softball team used two home runs for a 5-3, comeback win at Northern Iowa Tuesday. The Hawkeyes improve to 36-11 overall, while the Panthers drop to 30-17.
“Northern Iowa is a very tough team, and their record shows that,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “They have played a very tough schedule, and are a solid ball club. We were fortunate enough to come through with some big hits to get this win. Now, we need to have the same type of hits heading into Big Ten play this weekend.”
Northern Iowa jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Colleen McGlaughlin tied the score with a towering solo home run over the right field fence in the third inning.
The Panthers regained the lead, plating two runs in the bottom of the third for a 3-1 score.
Iowa fought back with four of its own runs in the top of the fifth for a 5-3 Hawkeye advantage. Senior Sam Heinzman started things with a single and was sacrificed to second by sophomore Chelsey Carmody. McGlaughlin’s bat stayed hot, recording an infield single to put runners on first and second for freshman Liz Watkins, who cleared the bases with a three-run home run to right, tying the score at five. Junior Katie Brown kept things going with a single to center, and was replaced at first by senior Rachel West. After West stole second, senior Erin Riemersma recorded an RBI single to right to make the score 5-3.
Senior Brittany Weil got Iowa out of a jam in bottom of the fifth to keep Iowa in the lead. The Panthers managed to load the bases with no outs, but three-straight strikeouts by Weil ended the inning.
Four Hawkeyes (McGlaughlin, Watkins, Brown and Riemersma) each had two hits, contributing eight of Iowa’s nine hits. Heinzman added Iowa’s ninth hit.
Weil picked up her 20th win of the season, throwing four innings of relief. Weil gave up only one hit, a soft infield single, while striking out six batters. Junior Amanda Zust threw the first three innings, giving up two hits while striking out four.
The Hawkeyes return to Big Ten action Saturday, traveling to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT).