One Day, Two Wins, Triple Play


March 16, 2010

Box Score

BOCA RATON, FL – Senior pitcher Amanda Zust led the University of Iowa softball team to a two-game sweep today at the FAU “Parents Weekend” Tournament on the campus of Florida Atlantic. Zust pitched two complete games and allowed just one earned run in 14 innings to lead the Hawkeyes over Syracuse, 4-1, and tournament host Florida Atlantic, 3-1.

The Hawkeyes defeated Syracuse 4-1 behind solid defense, a strong pitching performance and a balanced offensive attack in Game 1. Six Hawkeyes hit safely in the contest while Zust limited the Orange to one unearned run and striking out six en route to the complete game victory.

Sophomore Liz Watkins tripled home Katie Brown in the first inning and later scored as Iowa built an early 2-0 lead over Syracuse. Watkins finished the game 1-for-3 and now leads the Big Ten with four triples.

Holding on to a 2-run lead, Zust pitched around a Syracuse rally in the fourth inning when the Hawkeye defense turned a line drive into a triple play to end any potential scoring threat. The Orange put runners on first and second to start the frame before shortstop Chelsey Carmody snagged a line drive out of the air and tossed it to Katie Keim to double up the runner at second base. Keim then fired the ball to first base to complete the triple play.

Keim later extended Iowa’s lead to 3-0 when she singled to lead off the fifth inning and came around to score on Taylor Leichsenring’s RBI single.

After Syracuse plated an unearned run in the sixth frame to cut into Iowa’s lead, 3-1, the Hawkeyes answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning to regain their three-run advantage. Brown started the rally with a single up the middle before being lifted for pinch-runner Ashley Akers. Akers then stole second base and advanced to third before Jenny Schuelke plated the Iowa freshman with a sacrifice fly to give Iowa its final 4-1 lead.

“Zust threw the ball very well,” said Head Coach Gayle Blevins in between Iowa’s doubleheader sweep. “She scattered just six hits and look in control out there.”

Offense, defense and pitching continued to be the winning formula in Iowa’s 3-1 victory over Florida Atlantic in Game 2. Zust allowed just one run on the mound, the Hawkeye offense jumped ahead early and the defense closed the game with a double play.

Sophomore Liz Watkins doubled and smacked her conference-leading fourth triple in Iowa’s doubleheader sweep Tuesday.

Iowa supported Zust with an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 when Watkins doubled home Lindsey Digmann and Chelsey Carmody in the top half of the first inning.

The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 3-0 when Sarah Spiering coaxed a leadoff walk in the second inning. Freshman Sam Valentine pinch-ran for Spiering and worked her way around the bases before scoring on a wild pitch.

Zust, building off Game One’s complete game victory, held FAU without a hit until Kerri Croney beat out an infield single to start the fourth inning. The Owls eventually pulled within two runs, 3-1, when Joshlyn Martinez led off the fifth inning with a solo homerun. Zust shook off the long ball and didn’t allow another hit until there was one out in the seventh inning. With the tying run at the plate, Iowa’s defense quickly erased any scoring threat when Keim ended the game by fielding a ground ball, stepping on second base and firing to first for the game-ending double play. Zust’s complete game effort, her 10th complete game of the season, helped Iowa preserve the 3-1 victory and the doubleheader sweep.

“Zust continued to throw well in Game 2,” said Blevins. “The entire team played a nice ballgame, as well. We’ve been working on becoming more consistent and I think we saw some of that today.”

The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday with a 5 p.m. doubleheader against tournament host Florida Atlantic.