March 31, 2010
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AMES, IA – The University of Iowa softball team fell to Iowa State in Ames Wednesday, 7-3. Four Hawkeye errors proved to be the difference, as Iowa falls to 16-13-1 overall.
Senior Amanda Zust took the loss, falling to 9-6 on the season. Zust threw 2.1 total innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits. Freshman Chelsea Lyon tossed 3.2 innings relief and did not allow an earned run. Only three of Iowa State’s seven runs were earned.
Sophomore Liz Watkins followed her co-Big Ten Player of the Week award Monday with another impressive offensive outing Wednesday against the Cyclones. Watkins finished 2-for-3 with two solo home runs, upping her season total to five. Watkins has recorded three solo home runs in her last two games, and is batting .800 (8-10) over the last three contests.
Iowa State struck first, plating three runs in its first at-bat. The Cyclones used three hits in the frame to take the early advantage.
The Hawkeyes plated their first run of the contest in the top of the third. Freshman Johnnie Dowling drew a two-out walk and was sacrificed to second by senior Taylor Leichsenring. Senior Lindsey Digmann then slapped a single to the right-center gap, allowing Dowling to score.
Watkins pulled Iowa to within one run at 3-2 with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Watkins took the first pitch of the at-bat and drilled over the fence in left field.
The Cyclones took advantage of three Hawkeye errors in the fifth, scoring three runs off two hits to take a 6-2 lead.
Watkins stayed hot in the sixth, once again blasting a solo round-tripper to left field, but Iowa State responded with another run in the bottom of the frame for the final count.
“We need to be much better defensively,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “I thought Liz (Watkins) did a nice job of trying to get us back in the game, but we need a better effort from our defense. We will use these next two days of practice to fix things before we get back into conference play.”
Iowa returns to Pearl Field Saturday for its conference home opener against Indiana. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.