Outstanding Defense Leads Iowa In Win Over Purdue


April 10, 2010

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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa softball team kept its perfect mark in Big Ten play Saturday by knocking off Purdue, 1-0, at Pearl Field. Iowa moves to 20-13-1 overall and 6-0 in conference action.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Hawkeyes scored the only run of the contest. Senior Taylor Leichsenring tallied a leadoff single and was sacrificed to second. Leichsenring moved to third on a ground out and scored when senior Katie Brown roped a single up the middle.

Purdue threatened twice in the game, but Iowa’s defense and pitching kept the shutout intact. In the top of the fifth, the Boilermakers put two runners in scoring position with two outs but an Amanda Zust strikeout ended Purdue’s chances.

Purdue’s best chance came in the top of the seventh, with Iowa leading 1-0. Iowa’s only fielding error of the game allowed Purdue’s leadoff hitter to reach, and a walk put runners on first and second with no outs. Purdue’s Liane Horiuchi then doubled to the center field fence, but Iowa centerfielder Johnnie Dowling fired a perfect throw to cutoff Lindsey Digmann, who then tossed a strike to Liz Watkins at the plate for the tag to keep Purdue off the scoreboard. Zust recorded a strikeout for the second out of the inning and induced a ground ball to Brown at first for the win.

“I’m extremely proud of how our team played today,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “We are finding ways to win, which you always like to see. We played a solid game defensively and couldn’t have asked for a better play in the top of the seventh. Chelsey (Carmody) was solid at shortstop and our outfield was outstanding. Katie (Brown) had a clutch hit for us in the sixth and that’s what you need out of a senior.”

Zust came out on top in Saturday’s pitcher’s duel, scattering six hits with three strikeouts. Purdue’s Suzie Rzegocki allowed one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts.

Carmody had a busy day at shortstop, recording one putout and eight assists.

Iowa and Purdue will wrap up the weekend series at Pearl Field Sunday at 2 p.m.