Hawkeye softball routs Cyclones in tournament, but loses two

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa softball team rallied from two-straight losses to win three games in the Littlewood Classic this past weekend.

The Black and Gold fell early in their first two contests against Illinois State and No. 5 Arizona State. The Hawkeyes were in a position to win late in each game, but the bullpen couldn't close the deal. The score was tied at 2 in the top of the seventh until the Illinois State bats produced a 5-run shelling.

Iowa then had No. 5 Arizona State on the ropes — the Hawkeyes were beating the Sun Devils, 2-0 — going into the final out of the game. The home squad then turned a series of walks and errors into 5 runs to close the game.

Iowa began its three-game winning streak the following day by defeating Central Michigan, 7-5. The Hawkeyes closed out the tournament with another win over the Chippewas when they beat Central Michigan for the second day in a row, 4-2.

The Hawkeyes took on Iowa State at the Classic between the Central Michigan games. The squad posted school records in runs, hits, RBIs, total bases, and team batting average in a five-inning, 26-5 shellacking of the Cyclones. Iowa scored its 26 runs on 29 hits in 44 at-bats (a .659 team average for the game).

Catcher Liz Watkins led the charge, going 5-for-5 with 5 RBIs and 4 runs scored. First baseman Katie Keim smacked a pair of home runs as part of a 4-for-6, 5-RBI night. Her 5 runs scored set a school record. Head coach Marla Looper sent 19 batters to the plate in the third inning alone.

The Hawkeyes will travel to Palm Springs, Calif., to compete in the Cathedral City Classic next weekend.

— by Ben Ross

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