April 18, 2009
IOWA CITY - Senior Brittany Weil became the first Hawkeye pitcher and only the eighth in Big Ten history to record 1,000 career strikeouts, as the No. 23 Hawkeyes defeated Michigan State, 4-3, in 10 innings in game two Saturday. Freshman Missy Mazur recorded a bases loaded, walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th to get Iowa its 35th overall win and its seventh in Big Ten play.
Weil relieved starter Amanda Zust in the fifth inning and recorded her historical strikeout with the bases loaded and two outs, getting Iowa out of a tough situation. Weil is already Iowa's all-time strikeout leader, and currently sits at 1,007 K's.
Mazur delivered a clutch hit with the based full of Hawkeyes and only one out in the bottom of the 10th. Back-to-back walks by sophomore Chelsey Carmody and senior Colleen McGlaughlin put runners on first and second with no outs. After a fielder's choice got Michigan State its first out of the inning, the Spartans elected to intentionally walk junior Katie Brown to load the bases for Mazur. With a 2-2 count, Mazur smacked a single through the left side, scoring Carmody for the walk-off victory.
"I thought we battled very hard in the late innings today," Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. "To have a freshman deliver like Missy (Mazur) did is pretty special. Brittany (Weil) came in relief and really slammed the door shut, allowing us a chance to win that game."
"I really didn't think about reaching the 1,000 strikeout mark," Weil said. "I just enjoy pitching, and if strikeouts happen, they happen. I love playing softball, and want to keep pitching well to give our team a chance for something special this season."
The Spartans managed to plate two runs in the top of the first off a two-RBI double by Jessica Bracemonte. Iowa chipped away at the deficit in the bottom of the second, scoring a run to make the score 2-1. Freshman Liz Watkins recorded a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Rachel West, who stole second base. West later scored on an RBI single through the left side by Brown.
Iowa tied the score at two in the bottom of the fourth frame. McGlaughlin recorded a leadoff single and was replaced at first by senior Quinn Morelock. Watkins then doubled, putting runners on second and third with no outs. One batter later, Mazur tapped a single to right, scoring Morelock from third base.
Michigan State regained the lead at 3-2 in the top of the fifth, when the Spartans recorded a walk with the bases loaded, forcing in the run. Zust was then lifted for Weil, who struck out Ali Grant with the bases loaded to not only record her 1,000 career strikeout, but to get Iowa out of the jam.
Iowa tied the score in the bottom of the sixth with a run off a Michigan State error. McGlaughlin led off the inning with a double to the fence in left-center. Watkins followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt, but the throw was dropped at first base and skipped past the Michigan State infielders, allowing McGlaughlin to score the tying run.
McGlaughlin, Watkins and Mazur all had two hits, while Mazur had two RBI.
Weil threw 5.1 innings in relief, allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts and no walks. Junior Amanda Zust started the game and took the no-decision, tossing 4.2 innings. She gave up three runs on four hits with two strikeouts and six walks.
The Hawkeyes return to action Tuesday when they travel to intra-state rival Northern Iowa. First pitch in Cedar Falls is scheduled for 6 p.m.