Feb. 25, 2011
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone app!
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
Fort Myers, Fla. — The University Iowa softball team posted a pair of victories on Friday at the Moe’s Blue and Green Invite in Fort Meyers, Fla., topping Albany, 2-1, and host Florida Gulf Coast, 11-9. The Hawkeyes have now won four straight games to push their record to 5-4 on the season.
In the team’s opening game of the day, freshman Nikki Gentile provided the early offense for Iowa. The freshman connected on a second inning home run, her second of the season, to give the Hawkeyes the 1-0 advantage.
After Albany evened the tally at one with a run in the top of the fourth, the Hawkeyes plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Chelsey Carmody singled through the right side to open the inning and extend her hitting streak to eight games. After moving up to second on a Jenny Schuelke fly ball to left, the senior scored the game-winning run on a pair of Allie Weiser wild pitches.
Kayla Massey then pitched around a pair of Retriever hits in the top of the seventh to pick up her fourth victory of the season. The freshman allowed seven hits in the complete game win with one strikeout.
“We gritted it out, getting a run early and a run late to come away with this victory,” said UI head coach Marla Looper.
Iowa’s bats came alive in the second game, as the Hawkeyes plated five runs on five hits in the top of the first against Florida Gulf Coast. Iowa, which batted around in the inning, got a two-run single by freshman Michelle Zoeller to make the score 5-0.
“We jumped on them early, and that was our goal, and we were able to get five runs in the first inning,” said Looper.
Sophomore Chelsea Lyon pitched in and out of trouble over the first four innings before Jessica Barnes got to her with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Iowa immediately answered with five runs in the sixth inning. Katie Keim doubled to lead-off the inning before moving to third base one Schuelke’s one out single. Liz Watkins was then intentionally walked to load the bases, but FGCU registered its second out on a Gentile pop out to the pitcher.
Senior Stephanie Ochoa delivered for the Hawkeyes with a two-run single to left field to make the score 7-1. Freshman Katie Kroeger and Zoeller followed with RBI hits to push the margin to 10-1 going into the bottom of the inning.
With a run-rule loss staring it in the face, Florida Gulf Coast got hot and erupted for eight runs on seven hits in the bottom of the frame. The Eagles sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning, and they had a pair of extra base hits, including an Emily Lanier two-run home run.
Florida Gulf Coast had the bases loaded with two outs and trailing 10-9, but Massey, who entered in relief midway through the inning, struck out Tori Williams looking to end the inning and the Eagle threat.
“We have to be better at learning to shut the door,” said Looper. “We need to not just close it, but slam it shut. We gave up a couple of hits and a couple errors and then the wheels fell off.”
The Hawkeyes added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, as Ashley Akers jump started the offense. The sophomore led off the inning with a bunt single before stealing second and advancing to third on a Carmody groundout. Schuelke then brought her home with an RBI single to right field.
Iowa pounded out 18 hits in the contest and seven players posted multi-hit games. Keim (3-5, 2 runs), Kroeger (3-4, 2 RBI) and Zoeller (3-4, 4RBI) all collected three hits to pace the squad. Carmody went 2-for-5 in the game to extend her hitting streak to nine games.
Lyon picked up her first victory of the season despite allowing seven runs (six earned) in 5.1 innings. The sophomore struck out eight FGCU batters, which is a career-high.
Iowa (5-4) returns to the diamond tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. (CT) and 10:15 a.m. (CT) against UMBC and Eastern Michigan, respectively.
|Iowa 2, Albany 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||T||H||E|
|W: Kayla Massey (UI) 4-1|
|L: Allie Weiser (UA) 0-1|
|Iowa 11, Florida Gulf Coast 9||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||T||H||E|
|Florida Gulf Coast (3-8)||0||0||0||0||1||8||0||9||12||1|
|W: Chelsea Lyon (UI) 1-3|
|L: Catherine McDaniel (FGCU) 1-4|