April 29, 2009
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IOWA CITY – The No. 25 University of Iowa softball team was defeated by Drake, 1-0, Wednesday at Pearl Field in front of a season-high 727 fans. The Bulldogs took advantage of two Hawkeye miscues in the sixth to plate the only run of the contest.
Wednesday’s matchup was a pitcher’s duel, with only six combined hits. Hawkeye senior pitcher Brittany Weil took the tough-luck loss, giving up just one unearned run on three hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Drake threatened in the first inning, but stellar defense by the Hawkeyes kept the game scoreless. Drake got a leadoff single by Elena Leon and moved to second on a groundout. With two outs in the inning, Erin Bly hit a bloop single to shallow center field, and Leon rounded third and hustled towards home. Sophomore Chelsey Carmody made a bare-handed grab off a bounce in the outfield and threw a strike to freshman Liz Watkins at home, who made a nice tag to escape the jam.
The Bulldogs scored the eventual game-winning run in the sixth. Carrie Hatfield reached on an error and was sacrificed to second base. Hatfield moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a squeeze bunt.
Iowa threatened for the first time in the game in the sixth, but couldn’t tie the game. Senior Sam Heinzman roped a one-out triple to the left field fence, starting things for the Hawkeyes. Carmody then walked to bring up senior Colleen McGlaughlin, who hit a sharp grounder to Leon at shortstop. Leon’s throw barely beat the speedy Heinzman to the plate, keeping Drake in the lead.
Iowa had once last shot in the bottom of the seventh, but came away empty-handed. Senior Katie Brown reached on an error to start the frame, and was replaced at first by junior Taylor Leichsenring. After Leichsenring stole second, Drake got the first out of the inning on an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt that was popped up in the shallow infield. Senior Erin Riemersma kept the Hawkeye faithful on their feet with an infield single, but back-to-back strikeouts gave Drake the win.
Iowa will return to Big Ten action Saturday, traveling to No. 8 Michigan Saturday. First pitch in Ann Arbor is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT).