A Tale of Two Ballgames


Feb. 26, 2010

Alabama Box | Maryland Box

COLUMBUS, GA – The University of Iowa softball team dropped a pair of games in Day One of the NFCA Leadoff Classic Friday at Janice Davis Field. Iowa fell to Alabama, 5-4, before losing the night cap to Maryland, 11-1. Junior Chelsey Carmody extended her hitting streak to seven games with a 4-for-6 performance at the plate and the Hawkeyes homered for the ninth straight game when Katie Brown went deep against seventh-ranked Alabama.

The Hawkeyes squandered a late rally in their 5-4 Game 1 loss to the Crimson Tide. Iowa battled back from three runs down in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the contest, 4-4, but Alabama got a solo homerun from Jazlyn Lunceford in the top of the seventh to escape with a one-run win.

Down 2-0 in the fourth inning, Iowa cut Alabama’s lead in half when Brown blasted a two-strike offering from all-American Kelsi Dunne over the left-centerfield fence for her third homerun of the season.

The Crimson Tide answered Brown’s long ball with a pair of runs to extend their lead to 4-1 before Iowa mounted a sixth-inning rally. With runners on first and second, Brown laced a single down the left field line to plate Taylor Leichsenring and advance Carmody to third base. The Hawkeyes would then pull off a double steal to cut into Alabama’s lead, 4-3, before Katie Keim belted a two-out double to plate Brown from second base and tie the contest, 4-4.

Iowa starting pitcher Amanda Zust looked like she was going to pitch around a troubling seventh inning when Iowa pulled off a circus double play. Following a leadoff single, the Crimson Tide laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown wide of first base and into right field. Backing up the play, Leichsenring fired the ball back into the infield and Keim eventually tagged out the batter as she tried to advance to second base. Keim, the Hawkeye shortstop, then threw home to nail a runner trying to score from third. The play emptied the bases, but Lunceford homered to centerfield one batter later for the eventual game-winning run.

Maryland jumped on the Hawkeyes early and often in Game 2. The Terrapins pushed four runs across in the first frame and scored in each subsequent inning to pull away with the 11-1 victory. Carmody singled home Lindsey Digmann to plate Iowa’s lone run. Digmann, Keim and Liz Watkins also hit safely in the contest.

The Hawkeyes (6-5) return to action tomorrow with a 12:30 p.m. (CT) contest versus North Carolina State at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.