Feb. 23, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Iowa softball team split two games against Winthrop and top-ranked Alabama on Saturday on day two of the Bama Bash. The Hawkeyes defeated the Eagles in the opener, 7-1, and fell to the Crimson Tide in the second game, 4-1. The contests were held at Rhoads Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.
Freshman Micaela Whitney led the Hawkeyes in the opener, tossing a complete game victory in her first career start. She allowed one run while scattering seven hits. She struck out six Eagles.
“She did a really nice job,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “It was good to be able to get her a start. She has been in relief so far this season. I felt really good about her in the bullpen and in practice this week, and felt we needed to get her a start. She did a nice job for us.”
The Hawkeyes added to their lead in the third. Bradi Wall tripled to the gap in right center and promptly scored on a sharp single to left by Blank, making the score 3-0.
The home team plated three runs in the fourth. Erin Erickson and Ashley Akers coaxed back-to-back two-out walks. Dowling lined a groundout to third base, and the throw went wide across the diamond, scoring both runners and advancing Dowling to third. Wall then reached on an error in left, scoring Dowling from third.
Iowa added a single tally in the fifth, extending its lead to 7-0. Whitney Repole roped a single to center to score Haley Hansel from second. Winthrop pushed across its lone run in the top of the sixth, making the final score 7-1.
Chelsey Schoenfeldt started for the Eagles and took the loss. She tossed three innings, allowing three runs on three hits.
Hoffman notched a multi-hit game to pace the Iowa offense. She finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
“We talk about our offense attacking early and often,” said Looper. “That is always nice. It allows our pitchers to settle in.”
Alabama (14-0) struck first in the second game, pushing across a run in the first and two in the second to grab a 3-0 lead.
Iowa (9-5) stranded a runner at third in the second and third innings. The Hawkeyes left a runner at first in the fifth and a base runner at second in the sixth.
The home team used a sacrifice fly in the sixth to extend its advantage to 4-0. Kayla Massey led off the top of the seventh, launching her second home run of the season over the fence in left to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Massey and Jackie Traina faced off inside the circle for the second-straight day. Traina earned the win for the Crimson Tide, allowing one run on four hits in seven complete. Massey took the loss, surrendering four runs on seven hits in six innings.
“It is frustrating on our end,” said Looper. “They are the No. 1 team in the country. Again, I do not know if we walked away saying we got beat. We beat ourselves quite a bit today. We had runners on with our hottest hitters up, and we ran ourselves out of innings. We are not being smart. Unfortunately, we were in that game, but beat ourselves.”
The Hawkeyes are 2-2 in the Bama Bash. Iowa concludes action in the tournament on Sunday against Western Illinois. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. (CT).
“We need to come out and be ready,” said Looper about the tournament finale. “We set a tone early this morning. We need to set that tone again, offensively, defensively, and in the circle, and play as a team.”
|Iowa 7, Winthrop 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|W: Micaela Whitney (IOWA) 2-0|
|L: Chelsey Schoenfeldt (WIN) 0-2|
|Alabama 4, Iowa 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|W: Jackie Traina (UA); 8-0|
|L: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 3-4|