March 9, 2013
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Iowa softball team defeated Maryland on Saturday, 9-4, in the second game of its opening day of the Miken Invitational. The Hawkeyes dropped a 3-1 decision to St. John’s in game one. The contests were held at Robert E. Taylor Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland.
Iowa opened the day’s scoring with a single tally in the top of the second against the Red Storm. Kayla Massey laced a single to right. Sam Valentine entered as a pinch runner for Massey, and later scored on a squeeze bunt by Michelle Zoeller.
The Red Storm answered in the bottom half of the third, using two hits and a Hawkeye error to push across two runs. St. John’s, the designated home team, added a run in the fifth to extend its lead to 3-1.
The visitors stranded runners at second and third in the sixth. In the seventh, Zoeller laced a double to center, but was stranded to give St. John’s the 3-1 victory and end the Hawkeyes’ five-game win streak. Zoeller paced the Iowa offense, finishing with a multi-hit game (2-for-2).
Chelsea Lyon started and took the loss. The senior tossed six innings, allowed two earned runs on seven hits. She struck out two.
“We started off a little sluggish,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We always talk about coming out and being the aggressor and attacking early. We didn’t do that this morning. Unfortunately, it took us until the middle of the second game to really start clicking offensively. Fortunately, we did turn it around and made a statement towards the end.”
The Iowa offense opened it up in game two. Johnnie Dowling and Massey registered multi-hit games. Dowling finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Massey went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Megan Blank also notched three RBIs.
Maryland struck first, pushing across a run in the bottom of the first. Iowa answered with a two spot in the top of the fourth. Bradi Wall, the Big Ten leader in hit-by-pitches, opened the frame with her 12th hit-by-pitch of the season. Blank coaxed a walk, and the duo advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Holly Hoffman. Massey stepped to the dish and launched a double to the warning track in right center to score both runners and give Iowa a 2-1 advantage.
The Hawkeye offense kept rolling in its next at-bat. Sammi Gyerman opened the frame with a single to short and Ashley Akers singled to second to put two runners on. Dowling singled up the middle to plate Gyerman, and both Dowling and Akers advanced a base on the throw. Wall stepped to the plate and dropped down a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt to score Akers from third and allow Dowling to move to third. Blank then grounded to second, and Dowling raced home around the catcher’s tag to give Iowa a three-run fifth inning and a 5-1 lead.
Maryland cut the lead to 5-3 with an RBI triple and RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Iowa answered its future Big Ten opponent, posting four runs in the top of the seventh. Two Hawkeye freshmen — Gyerman and Whitney Repole — got the offense started. Gyerman coaxed a leadoff walk and Repole doubled to center. Dowling followed with a single to short, scoring Gyerman. Dowling stole second to put runners at second and third. Blank quickly cleared the bases with a double to left center to push the Hawkeye lead to 8-3. Massey followed Blank’s lead, launching a double off the wall in left to plate Blank and give Iowa a 9-3 advantage.
“The biggest thing was getting runners on,” said Looper. “Then we started driving the ball behind them. When we do that, we are going to make things happen and score runs.”
Maryland added a single tally in the bottom half to make the final score, 9-4. Massey started and earned the win, her sixth of the season. The junior allowed three earns runs in seven complete innings. She struck out three Terrapins.
Iowa concludes action on Sunday in the Miken Invitational. The Hawkeyes will face Radford (8 a.m. CT) and Ohio State (10 a.m.). The contest against the Buckeyes will count as a nonconference game.
|St. John’s 3, Iowa 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|St. John’s (5-13-1)||0||0||2||0||1||0||X||3||7||0|
|W: Beza (STJ) 3-3|
|L: Chelsea Lyon (IOWA) 7-2|
|Iowa 9, Maryland 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|W: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 6-4|
|L: Schmeiser (MD) 2-7|