Feb. 8, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Hawkeyes used extra base hits in two three-run innings to key their 6-3 victory over the Blue Hose Saturday evening at the Carolina Classic. The win gives Iowa a 2-1 record, while Presbyterian drops to 0-3.
After the Blue Hose took an early lead in the top of the second with a bases loaded walk, the Hawkeyes responded with a three-run rally to regain control of the contest. Alyssa Navarro opened the frame with a single and moved up to third on a Whitney Repole double to right. Sammi Gyerman came through in the clutch with a triple to score two and give Iowa the lead. Claire Fritsch extended the Hawkeye advantage to 3-1, plating Gyerman with a sacrifice fly.
The Iowa defense held strong in the third and fourth innings, retiring the Blue Hose in order in consecutive innings. A Repole diving catch in right field put the top of the fourth in the books and provided a spark for the Hawkeyes. Presbyterian strung together a pair of two-out hits in the fifth, but the scoring threat was silenced with an unassisted Navarro groundout.
The Hawkeyes used the momentum gained from their defensive play at the plate in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring a trio of runs on three hits. After Megan Blank reached on an error to open the inning, Erin Erickson hit her first career homerun over the wall to score two for the Black and Gold. It marks the first long ball of the 2014 season for Iowa.
Michelle Zoeller kept the rally going with a single. She stole second base -- her first of the season -- and moved up to third on an error. From there, Zoeller came around to score on a Presbyterian illegal pitch to give Iowa a 6-1 lead.
A scoreless sixth inning followed, but the Blue Hose made it interesting in the seventh. After a walk, single and another walk loaded the bases, Presbyterian used a walk and a fielder's choice to score two. Another walk reloaded the bases and the Hawkeyes brought Shayla Starkenburg in to pitch. She closed out the game, forcing a groundout and earning her first career save.
Micaela Whitney (1-0) earned her first win of the 2014 season. She struck out four, allowed five hits and surrendered five walks in her 6.2 innings pitched.
"I think as we got deeper into the game we started to see more pitches and forced their pitcher to come to us," head coach Marla Looper said. "Our second time through the order we drove the ball well. It was nice to see that. They stayed focus, they worked the process well, and it was nice to see that production."
Erickson and Gyerman led the Hawkeyes offensively, both going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Also notching hits for Iowa were Blank (1-for-3), Zoeller (1-for-3), Navarro (1-for-3), Hoffman (1-for-3), and Repole (1-for-2).
Iowa concludes play at the Carolina Classic Sunday morning against Ohio. Fans can follow along with the 9 a.m. (CT) contest through Gametracker available at hawkeyesports.com.