March 28, 2010
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EAST LANSING, MI – The University of Iowa softball team scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to record a 7-6 win at Michigan State Sunday at Old College Field. Iowa improves to 16-12-1 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play.
“We kept constant offensive pressure on Michigan State today,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “I’m really pleased with Chelsea (Lyon) in relief today and it’s great to be 2-0 in Big Ten play. Any road win is huge and getting two of them to start the Big Ten season is great.”
Iowa equaled its run total from Saturday’s game in the first inning of Sunday’s matchup, plating three runs in its first at-bat. The Hawkeyes plated all three runs off home runs with two outs in the inning.
Sophomore Liz Watkins gave Iowa a 1-0 lead with a line drive home run that wrapped around the right field foul pole. The long-ball was Watkins’ third of the season. Senior Katie Brown followed with a sharp single up the middle and junior Jenny Schuelke roped her second home run in as many days, blasting a two-run shot to left field for the three-run lead.
Iowa responded in the top of the second with another run after the Spartans plated a run in their first at-bat. Junior Lindsey Digmann singled with one out in the second frame and then stole second. Sophomore Chelsey Carmody sacrificed Digmann to third and Watkins drove her in with a sharp single through the left side of the infield.
Four Michigan State singles and a three-run home run led to five Spartan runs in the second frame, as the home team took a 6-4 lead after two full innings.
Iowa chipped away at the deficit in the top of the third, trimming the Michigan State lead to 6-5. Schuelke drew a walk to start the inning and advanced to second on an illegal pitch. Freshman Sam Valentine replaced Schuelke at second and hustled to third on a groundout by sophomore Katie Keim. Freshman Johnnie Dowling plated Valentine with an RBI single to left field.
The Hawkeyes regained the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs with a two-out rally in the inning. Digmann started the comeback with a two-out single and then stole second. Carmody laced a single up the middle, allowing the speedy Digmann to tie the scoring run. Next up was Watkins, who drove a line drive to the left field fence and a hustling Carmody scored the go-ahead run from first base.
Watkins led the Hawkeye offense, going 4-for-4 with three RBI. Digmann and Schuelke each added two hits.
Lyon picked up her first career Big Ten win, throwing 5.1 innings relief. Lyon allowed only two hits while striking out one.
Iowa will take on intra-state rival Iowa State in Ames as a part of the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series Wednesday at 4 p.m.