Carmody, Dowling Lead Iowa to 2 Victories

March 12, 2011

DeLand, Fla. — The University of Iowa softball team posted a pair of victories Saturday at the Stetson Classic, downing Liberty, 4-2, and Jackson State, 7-1. The Hawkeyes pounded out a total of 19 hits in the two games to advance to the tournament championship game Sunday morning at 9 a.m. (CT).

The Hawkeyes struck first in the opening game against Liberty, scoring one run in their opening at-bat. Freshman Michelle Zoeller reached via a hit by pitch with one out before stealing second to move into scoring position. Senior Chelsey Carmody then plated the run with an RBI single up the middle.

Liberty evened the tally with a run in the bottom of the frame. After Sammi Shivok hit a one-out double to left field and moved to third on a Jenny Law single, Ashley Bensinger tallied the RBI, reaching on a fielder’s choice.

After Iowa pitcher Kayla Massey got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth, the Hawkeyes struck for three runs in the top of the fifth to take control of the game. Junior Katie Keim led off the inning with single through the left side before moving to second on a Zoeller sacrifice bunt. Carmody then singled through the right side to plate Keim to give Iowa the lead.

Junior Liz Watkins followed with a two-run home run to centerfield, making the score 4-1. It was Watkins’ team-leading fourth long ball of the season.

Liberty scored its second run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Shivock home run to left field, but Massey shook off the long ball to get the final two Flame batters to ground out to end the contest.

Massey picked up her sixth victory of the season, allowing two runs on seven hits. She struck out a pair of Liberty batters in her sixth complete game of the year.

Carmody and Watkins each collected a pair of hits to pace the Hawkeye offense. Carmody went 4-for-4 to tie her career-high for hits in a single game and push her hitting streak to 20 games. Watkins, meanwhile, went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs.

Iowa again got off to a quick start in its second game, scoring four runs in the first inning against Jackson State. Keim led off the game with a single to left field before moving to second on a Zoeller sacrifice bunt. Carmody followed with a single to left field and Watkins walked to load the bases.

Sophomore Johnnie Dowling stepped to the plate with two outs and she delivered. The Des Moines, Iowa, native connected on a home run over the left field fence for a grand slam — the first of her career — to give Iowa the 4-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes added two more runs in the third inning to build a 6-0 advantage. Carmody singled to lead off the inning before Watkins was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. After Carmody was thrown out trying to steal third, Ochoa singled through the left side to put two runners on. Dowling then tallied her fifth RBI of the game with a single to left field. Iowa proceeded to load the bases, and sophomore Ashley Akers drew a walk to plate Dowling for the team’s third run of the inning.

Iowa scored its final run of the game in the fifth inning. Following a Jordan Goschie walk to lead off the inning, senior Jenny Schuelke sent an RBI double into the right centerfield gap to put the Hawkeyes on top, 7-0.

Sophomore Chelsea Lyon was superb in the circle for Iowa, as she had a no-hitter through the first five innings. The Oklahoma native surrendered her first hit run in the sixth inning, which led to JSU’s lone run. Lyon scattered three hits and struck out five in the complete game victory, as she improved to 5-7 on the season.

Seven different Hawkeyes tallied hits in the game with Carmody (2-4), Ochoa (2-4) and Dowling (2-3, 2 runs, 5 RBI) each recording multi-hit games. Carmody extended her hitting streak to 21 games, while Dowling had a career-best five RBI.

Iowa (11-10) plays in the Stetson Classic championship game Sunday morning at 9 a.m. The opponent (based on round robin standings) has yet to be determined.

Iowa 4, Liberty 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Iowa (10-10) 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 9 1
Liberty (6-4) 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 7 0
Game Decision
W: Kayla Massey (UI) 6-3
L: Tiffani Smith (LIB) 3-2
Iowa 7, Jackson State 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Jackson State (6-13) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 1
Iowa (11-10) 4 0 2 0 1 0 X 7 10 0
Game Decision
W: Chelsea Lyon (UI) 5-7
L: Breea Jamerson (JSU) 3-6