March 5, 2010
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NORTHRIDGE, CA – The University of Iowa softball team split a doubleheader with Cal State Northridge Friday afternoon at the Matador Classic. The Hawkeyes fell to CSUN, 7-4, in Game 1 before topping the Matadors, 4-1, in Game 2. Amanda Zust pitched her sixth complete game and Jenny Schuelke and Johnnie Dowling added homeruns to salvage the two-game split.
Zust (5-2) scattered seven hits and allowed one unearned run en route to her fifth win of the season. The Hawkeye senior allowed just one walk and stranded 11 CSUN runners on base. Schuelke hit 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI to lead the Hawkeye offense.
Freshman Johnnie Dowling jump started the Hawkeyes with a two-run homer in the second inning of Game 2. The West Des Moines native lifted her first career homerun high and deep over the left field fence to plate Katie Keim and give Iowa the early 2-0 advantage.
Cal State Northridge scratched a run across the plate in the top of the third inning to cut into Iowa’s lead, 2-1, but the Hawkeyes answered in the bottom half of the frame when Schuelke plated Katie Brown with an RBI single down the right field line. Schuelke later gave the Hawkeyes a 4-1 lead with a leadoff homerun to left field to start the sixth inning, her second long ball of the season.
Zust then sat the Matadors down in order in the seventh inning to give Iowa the two-game split.
The Hawkeyes (8-8) dropped the opener, 7-4, despite getting base hits from eight of nine starters. Junior Chelsey Carmody paced the offense with a single and a homerun. Trailing 2-1, Carmody blasted her team-high fifth homerun of the season to tie the contest and extend her hitting streak to 10 games.
Iowa had taken the first lead of the game when Schuelke followed a Liz Watkins walk with an RBI single in the top of the second frame, but CSUN plated runs in the second, third and fourth innings to build a three-run lead.
Trailing 5-2, Stephanie Ochoa pulled Iowa within a run with a two-run double in the fifth inning. She was later thrown out at the plate trying to score the tying run on a potential sacrifice fly off the bat of Schuelke.
Cal State Northridge added a two-run homerun in the fifth inning to give the Matadors the final 7-4 victory. Iowa used three pitchers in the contest – Zust, Chelsea Lyon and Brown. Brown allowed just one earned run in an inning of work but was tagged with the loss, her first of the season.
The Hawkeyes return to action tomorrow at 11 a.m. (CT) with a doubleheader against Saint Mary’s and Cal State Bakersfield at the Matador Classic.