Feb. 15, 2014
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WACO, Texas — The University of Iowa headed to extra innings with UAB to solve a 1-1 tie Saturday afternoon. In the top of the ninth, the Blazers used three hits to score five runs to put the game out of reach of the Hawkeyes and collect the final win, 6-1.
Iowa drops to 2-5 on the season with the loss, while UAB moves to 3-5.
After trading zeroes with UAB in the first and second innings of the contest, the Hawkeyes pushed a run across in the bottom of the third. To start the rally, Erin Erickson and Megan Blank reached on a fielder’s choice and an error, respectively. Alyssa Navarro came up with a two-out, clutch single up the middle to put Iowa ahead, 1-0.
Following a scoreless fourth, UAB used a leadoff solo home run in the top of the fifth to even the game at one run apiece. It was just the fourth hit allowed by sophomore starting pitcher Micaela Whitney. The Hawkeye defense recovered, using a ground out and two pop outs to close out the inning.
The teams remained knotted, 1-1, through seven triggering extra innings and the international tie rule. UAB, who started the top of the eighth with a runner at second, laid down a sacrifice bunt to move its runner up to third base. Whitney and the Iowa defense took it from there using a pair of ground outs to keep the Blazers off the board.
In the ninth, the Blazers broke open the game, scoring five runs on three hits. After the international tie rule and a single put two runners on for UAB with no outs, Iowa elected to bring Shayla Starkenburg in to pitch.
A walk loaded the bases and the Blazers used a two-RBI single to provide the game-winning runs and jump ahead of the Hawkeyes. A three-run home run followed, extending the deficit to five runs, 6-1.
Iowa was retired in order in the bottom of the ninth, ending the game in UAB’s favor.
Whitney (1-1) took the loss in the circle. She tallied two strikeouts, and allowed three runs on six hits in her eight innings of work. Starkenburg struck out one and allowed three runs on two hits in her one inning pitched.
Michelle Zoeller and Erickson led the Hawkeyes offensively, each going 2-for-5 at the plate. Navarro (1-for-4) picked up the lone Iowa RBI — marking her first RBI of the season.
Iowa plays its second game of the day against No. 14/16 Baylor. First pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. (CT). Fans can follow along with the contest through Gametracker at hawkeyesports.com.