Feb. 28, 2010
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COLUMBUS, GA – The University of Iowa softball team dropped a back-and-forth game to 11th-ranked Georgia Tech Sunday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Iowa jumped to an early lead but the Yellow Jackets battled back to prevail in extra innings, 9-8. Lindsey Digmann collected four of Iowa’s season-high 15 hits while Taylor Leichsenring and Katie Brown added three hits apiece for Iowa.
Iowa manufactured the first run of the game with a little small ball. Digmann and Leichsenring led off the first inning with back-to-back bunt singles and Iowa pushed the first run across the plate when Georgia Tech fired the ball into left field trying to catch Digmann in a delayed steal attempt.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 5-0 with more aggressive base running the third inning. Junior Chelsey Carmody extended her hitting streak to nine games with a base hit to centerfield to start the Iowa rally. Katie Brown singled behind Carmody before Steph Ochoa doubled to score pinch runner Ashley Akers and give Iowa a 2-0 lead. Junior Jenny Schuelke then bounced a hopper to second base that was thrown wide of the plate to score Brown and extend Iowa’s lead, 3-0. Sophomore Katie Keim followed with a squeeze bunt to plate Ochoa and after another Georgia Tech miscue, Schuelke crossed the plate to give Iowa a 5-0 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets then used a pair of fourth-inning hits and a Hawkeye error to cut into Iowa’s lead, 5-3. Iowa responded with a mild threat in the fourth inning, but the Hawkeyes stranded two runners on base before Georgia Tech tied the game, 5-5, with a two-run sixth inning.
Brown put Iowa back on top, 6-5, with a run-scoring single in the sixth to plate Leichsenring, but Georgia Tech’s Jen Yee responded with a two-run homerun in the seventh inning to give the Yellow Jackets 7-6 lead.
Georgia Tech used a two-run double to take a 9-7 lead in the extra frame, but Iowa battled back within one run on Brown’s RBI single in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Ochoa doubled and Watkins was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the Hawkeyes, but Yellow Jacket freshman Hope Rush pitched around the threat to preserve Georgia Tech’s 9-8 victory.
The Hawkeyes (7-7) return to action next weekend at the Matador Classic in Northridge, CA.