Feb. 20, 2010
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TEMPE, AZ – The University of Iowa softball team split a pair of games Saturday at the Littlewood Classic on the campus of Arizona State University. Iowa topped Illinois State 7-1 in the matinee game before falling to fifth-ranked ASU 7-4 in the night cap. Junior Chelsea Carmody led Iowa offensively, batting five-for-eight with two homers and four RBI in the two-game split.
Amanda Zust picked up her fourth straight win in the Hawkeyes’ 7-1 triumph over Illinois State. The Hawkeye senior allowed one run on four hits en route to her fourth straight complete game.
“Zust had a good performance,” said Head Coach Gayle Blevins. “She had a good composure on the mound and got the tough outs when she needed to.”
The Hawkeye bats backed up their pitcher with a season-high 12 hits. Carmody paced the offense with a double and a two-run homer. Lindsey Digmann and Taylor Leichsenring added three hits apiece for Iowa.
“We made some nice adjustments at the plate this afternoon,” said Blevins. “We talked prior to the game about moving the ball around and putting the ball in play. We played the game with a nice presence.”
Leichsenring scored the game’s first run after the Hawkeyes stormed out of the gate with three first-inning hits. Freshman Johnnie Dowling later drove in the eventual game-winning run with a bases loaded groundout during a fourth-inning rally. Digmann added a two-out two-run scoring single in the frame as Iowa built a 5-1 advantage.
Zust later pitched around back-to-back singles in the bottom of the sixth before Carmody extended Iowa’s lead with a two-run shot to straight away centerfield in the Hawkeye half of the seventh inning. Zust then retired the Redbirds in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Iowa its fourth straight win.
The Hawkeyes’ hot streak came to an end in Game Two’s loss to tournament host Arizona State. Carmody got the Hawkeyes rolling in the top of the first inning by following Digmann’s leadoff single with her fourth homerun of the young season.
The Sun Devils scored three runs in the third inning to take the lead before Iowa tied the game on Dowling’s first career triple and Digmann’s RBI groundout. Arizona State pushed two run across in the fifth inning off freshman reliever Chelsea Lyon and added a solo homerun in the sixth to retake the lead and send Iowa to its only loss of the four-game tournament.
The Hawkeyes (6-3) return to action next weekend at the JFCA Leadoff Classic in Atlanta, GA. Iowa opens the tournament with a 3 p.m. contest against Alabama Feb. 26.