May 9, 2010
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The University of Iowa softball team picked up a 9-4 win Sunday at Minnesota to earn a series sweep over the Golden Gophers. Iowa improves to 25-21 overall and 10-7 in Big Ten play. Minnesota drops to 15-35 overall and 1-15 in conference action.
“It’s great to get a sweep this weekend,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “Our offense kept putting runs on the board which was important, because our defense was a little shaky today. I thought Amanda (Zust) threw a great game for us and getting two wins was important.”
Junior Sarah Spiering gave Iowa a 3-0 lead in the top of the second with her first home run in a Hawkeye uniform. Sophomore Liz Watkins singled to start the inning and freshman Johnnie Dowling walked to put two runners on for Spiering, who blasted a ball over the left field fence.
Iowa tacked another run on the scoreboard in the third to make the count 4-0. Watkins drove in sophomore Katie Keim with an RBI single to left for the run. Keim singled with two outs and moved to second after junior Jenny Schuelke walked.
The Hawkeyes added three more runs to their lead in the fourth inning. Dowling singled, stole second base and hustled to third on a wild pitch to start the frame. Spiering drew a walk and was replaced at first by freshman Ashley Akers, who then stole second. Senior Heidi Daumen then entered as a pinch-hitter and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt allowing Dowling to score from third. On the play, the throw home from third base sailed to the backstop and Akers slid home safely for the second run. Daumen later scored on an RBI single by junior Chelsey Carmody.
Minnesota took advantage of two Hawkeye errors and a wild pitch to score three runs in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 7-3.
Another Hawkeye error in the fifth allowed Minnesota to plate its fourth run of the contest.
Dowling made the count 9-4 in the top of the seventh with her fifth home run of the season, a leadoff solo shot over the fence in center.
Five Hawkeyes had two hits Sunday, including Leichsenring, Keim, Watkins, Dowling and Goschie.
Zust tossed her second-consecutive complete game and the 19th of the season in the win. She did not allow an earned run and gave up six hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Iowa will host No. 2 ranked Michigan next weekend to close the regular season. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on the Big Ten Network (HD).