March 30, 2011
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MACOMB, Ill. — The University of Iowa softball team ran its winning streak to five games with a 10-2 victory at Western Illinois Wednesday afternoon at McKee Stadium. The Hawkeyes tallied 16 hits in the contest and were aided by six Leatherneck errors.
Iowa got off to a quick start, plating two runs in the first inning and four in the second to build a 6-0 lead. Katie Keim opened the game with a single up the middle and came around to score on Johnnie Dowling sacrifice bunt, that resulted in an error. Dowling then tallied the second run when Stephanie Ochoa reached on WIU’s second error of the inning.
In the second, Ashley Akers and Keim led off the frame with consecutive singles. The duo then executed a double steal, and Akers crossed the plate on a throwing error by the Leatherneck catcher. Senior Chelsey Carmody then drove in the second run of the frame on an RBI groundout.
Senior Stephanie Ochoa kept the inning alive with a two-out single up the middle bringing junior Liz Watkins to the plate. Watkins connected on a towering two-run home run over the trees beyond the fence in left field to make the score 6-0. It was Watkins’ second straight game with a long ball and her seventh of the season.
Western Illinois managed to get two runs back in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run double by Jamie Goss. The Hawkeyes, however, put the game away with one run in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Pinch hitter Nikki Gentile started the Iowa action in the fifth with a one-out single down the right field line. A second pinch hitter, Jordan Goschie, followed with an RBI double to left centerfield.
Dowling, Carmody and Ochoa tallied three consecutive hits in the sixth inning. Ochoa’s single through the right side would have loaded the bases, but the ball squirted underneath right fielder Beth Goliko’s glove and rolled to the fence, allowing Dowling and Carmody to score and Ochoa to advance to third base.
Iowa’s final run came in the top of the seventh inning. Akers tallied a one-out single — her career-best third hit — and moved to second on an error by the centerfielder. Following a Keim single that moved Akers to third, Keim stole second, forcing a throw and allowing Akers to take off and score the squad’s 10th run of the game.
The Iowa pitching staff allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Chelsea Lyon allowed both runs in four innings to pick up her 10th victory of the season. Kayla Massey threw the final three frames, allowing zero hits with two strikeouts.
Four Iowa players recorded multi-hit games in the victory. Keim (3-5), Ochoa (3-4, 2 RBI) and Akers (3-4, 2 runs) all had three hits, while Carmody went 2-for-5 with a run and RBI.
Iowa (19-12) returns to Big Ten action Saturday afternoon at Purdue. Game time is set for 1 p.m. (CT) in West Lafayette, Ind.
|Iowa 10, Western Illinois 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Western Illinois (9-15)||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||5||6|
|W: Chelsea Lyon (UI) 10-8|
|L: Hailey Bickford (WIU) 4-3|