March 10, 2013
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Iowa softball team routed Radford and Ohio State on Sunday in the final day of competition at the Miken Invitational in College Park, Md. Iowa defeated Radford in the opener, 10-0, in five innings, before downing league rival Ohio State in the finale, 8-0, in six innings. The contests were held at Robert E. Taylor Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland.
“We came out ready to play today,” said head coach Marla Looper. “It was nice seeing those goose eggs left up there. We have been working towards that all year long — limiting walks.
“We executed well offensively and were able to finish both out in shortened games. Home runs are nice. They hurt more when runners are on, and that is exactly what happened today.”
The Hawkeyes finish with a 3-1 mark in the Miken Invitational. Iowa defeated Maryland (9-4) and fell to St. John’s (3-1) on Saturday to open play. The Hawkeyes have won 8-of-9 overall to move to 17-6, and have registered a winning record in all five of their tournaments to open the season.
“It was a good weekend,” said Looper. “I wish we could say it was a great weekend, but we finished strong, and that is important.”
Iowa opened the day’s scoring with four runs in its first at-bat against Radford. Johnnie Dowling singled to start the game and advanced to second after beating the throw to the bag on a fielder’s choice by Bradi Wall. Megan Blank stepped in and roped a double to center to score both runners. With one out and Blank at second, Kayla Massey launched a home run deep over the fence in left center to give Iowa an early four-run lead.
The Hawkeyes, the designated visiting team, posted four runs for the second-straight inning in their next at-bat. With the bases full of Hawkeyes — Wall, Dowling, Ashley Akers — Blank notched her second hit of the game, a single to left, to score Akers from third and give Iowa a 5-0 lead. Holly Hoffman followed, smacking a single to center to score two runs and push the advantage to 7-0. Massey then roped a liner to the track in right to score Hoffman and make the score 8-0. Hoffman extended the Iowa lead to 9-0 with a two-out single to score Wall in the fourth.
Iowa used a two-out rally in the fifth to push across its 10th run. Freshman Erin Erickson registered her first career hit with two outs and classmate Whitney Repole smoked a double over the centerfielder’s head to put runners at second and third. Dowling extended the advantage to 10-0 with a single down the line in left. Lyon tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth to close out the run-rule victory.
Lyon started and earned the win to move to 8-2. The senior allowed no runs on three hits in five innings, throwing her eighth complete game in 11 starts. She struck out three Highlanders en route to her second shutout.
Seven Hawkeyes found the hit column as Iowa pounded out 12 hits. Dowling paced all with a game-high three hits (3-for-4). The Hawkeyes’ 3-4-5 hitters (Blank, Hoffman, Massey) each registered two hits and three RBIs.
Iowa struck first in the finale. Dowling reached on an error and Wall singled to put two on for Blank. The first pitch to Blank left the yard, as she lifted a three-run homer to center to give Iowa a 3-0 lead.
Ohio State (11-7) threatened in the top of the sixth. With two outs, and runners at second and third, Blank made a great diving catch to end the inning.
Hoffman finished the day with a bang, blasting a walk-off grand slam to right center in the bottom of the sixth to run-rule the Buckeyes, 8-0.
“I had been fouling a lot of pitches off,” said Hoffman. “I knew going into that at-bat she was going to throw me that pitch, so I decided early on I was going to attack it and commit to it. The swing followed and it worked out perfectly.
“It was awesome. The best was coming in and seeing my team. They were all excited and going crazy. It was the best feeling.”
“Holly finished it with a walk-off grand slam,” said Looper. “You love seeing that. Those big hits matter when runners are on, and that is exactly how we put them away today.”
Iowa tallied 12 hits. Dowling finished 3-for-4, tallying six hits on the day. Wall went 2-for-4, while Blank notched three RBIs and Hoffman posted four RBIs.
Massey started and earned the win (7-4), allowing no runs on three hits. She struck out three Buckeyes.
Iowa continues action March 17-18 in Louisville, Ky. The Hawkeyes will play No. 25 North Carolina (11:30 a.m. CT) and Ball State (2 p.m.) on Sunday, the 17th, to open play. Iowa continues action on Monday, the 18th, facing Ball State a second time (10 a.m.), and No. 13 Louisville (12:30 p.m.). The Hawkeyes then travel to Lexington, Ky., to face No. 15 Kentucky on March 20 at 3 p.m. CT.
|Iowa 10, Radford 0||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|W: Chelsea Lyon (IOWA) 8-2|
|L: Jenkins (RU) 0-8|
|Iowa 8, Ohio State 0||1||2||3||4||5||6||R||H||E|
|Ohio State (11-7)||0||0||0||0||0||0||X||0||3||1|
|W: Kayla Massey (IOWA) 7-4|
|L: O’Reilly (OSU) 3-4|