Feb. 22, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Iowa softball team used a furious rally in its last at-bat to defeat Winthrop, 2-1, on Friday afternoon in the opener of the Bama Bash. The Hawkeyes trailed 1-0 entering the final frame, but pushed across two runs to earn the dramatic one-run victory. The game was held at Rhoads Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.
Iowa (8-3) has won 8-of-10 overall, and five of its last six.
After six scoreless innings, the Eagles used a solo home run in the top of the seventh to take a one-run lead into the bottom half. Michelle Zoeller started things off for the Hawkeyes, singling to shortstop to open the inning. With one away, she advanced to second on a wild pitch and Ashley Akers followed with a walk.
Johnnie Dowling stepped to the plate after a Winthrop pitching change and slapped a strong single through the right side of the drawn-in infield to plate Zoeller and tie the score at 1-1. Akers advanced to third and Dowling moved to second on the throw.
With one down, and runners at second and third, Bradi Wall came to the plate. The senior dropped down a beautiful squeeze bunt and Akers raced home from third to give the Hawkeyes the come-from-behind victory in dramatic fashion.
“I am proud of how the team finished,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Michelle Zoeller leading us off with a base runner in the seventh… that is what we needed. We eventually got her over. (Ashkey) Akers did a nice job drawing a walk. Johnnie Dowling did a great job and Bradi Wall as well with that squeeze (bunt). Bradi executed like nothing else.”
“We expected to win throughout the entire game,” said Wall. “Johnnie (Dowling) did a great job getting the first run across. I had a feeling coach might call for the squeeze. I was ready for it and knew what my role was. My goal was to get the bunt down and I knew we would win it.
“I was looking at Coach (Adrianna) Baggetta to see her reaction. She had a big smile on her face and I knew we did it.”
Chelsea Lyon started for the Hawkeyes. The senior earned her fourth win of the season (4-1) and fourth complete game, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings. She struck out six Eagles and allowed no walks.
“Chelsea did a really nice job,” said Looper. “She had six strikeouts and no walks. Our goal was to decrease the walks on the pitching side, and she did a really nice job with that today.”
Dallas King started for the Eagles. She allowed no runs on five hits in six innings. Sara Allen took the loss, surrendering two runs in a third of an inning.
“It is great momentum for us,” said Wall. “We are going to take everything we’ve got into tonight’s game against Alabama.”
Iowa continues action tonight in the Bama Bash. The Hawkeyes face No. 1 Alabama at 6 p.m. (CT) at Rhoads Stadium.
|Iowa 2, Winthrop 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|W: Chelsea Lyon (IOWA) 4-1|
|L: Sara Allen (WIN) 1-1|