Feb. 19, 2010
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TEMPE, AZ – The University of Iowa softball team swept a pair of games Friday morning at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, AZ. Senior Amanda Zust hurled Iowa through the doubleheader sweep, allowing one run in 14 innings while earning a pair of victories.
The Hawkeyes topped Texas State in the tournament opener, 4-1, behind a strong performance in the circle by Zust. The Hawkeye senior scattered five hits and pitched around two Hawkeye errors en route to her second straight win. She struck out three and allowed just one earned run.
“Good performance from Zust,” said Blevins. “She worked out of a lot of jams. When they got some runners on base and opened things up it was nice to see Zust bounce back and work around mistakes.”
Iowa spotted Zust a comfortable three-run run lead in the bottom of the first inning. Lindsey Digmann and Taylor Leichsenring pounded consecutive singles to start the frame before Chelsey Carmody blasted a two-strike offering over the right-field fence for her second homerun of the season.
“That was a big hit,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said of Carmody’s homerun. “It was extremely important to have Digmann and Taylor on base in front of her. Chelsey’s a determined hitter and the pitcher made a mistake and she got a good swing on it.”
The Hawkeyes scratched another run across the plate with a little help from their bench. Sarah Spiering jumped off the bench and coaxed a walk to start the fourth-inning rally. Ashley Akers pinch ran for Spiering and stole second base before Johnnie Dowling singled her home to give Iowa its final 4-1 advantage.
The Black and Gold kept the lineup rolling in their 7-0 win over Rutgers in Game 2. Zust struck out six in seven shutout innings and the Iowa offense equaled their season highs in runs and hits.
Iowa patched together their first run of the contest when sophomore Liz Watkins singled in the bottom of the third and pinch runner Akers crossed the plate on a RBI single by freshman Johnnie Dowling. Leichsenring and Carmody then led off the fourth with consecutive singles and eventually stretched the Iowa lead to 3-0 behind Katie Brown’s two-run scoring base hit.
Iowa capitalized on a couple Scarlet Knight miscues in the fifth to build a five-run lead before Watkins finished the day’s scoring with a two-run homer to right field in the sixth frame.
The Hawkeyes (5-2) return to action tomorrow with a 3:30 p.m. (CT) contest versus Illinois State. Iowa then concludes the Littlewood Classic at 8 p.m. (CT) versus tournament host and fifth-ranked Arizona State.