TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of Iowa softball team posted school records in runs, hits, RBI, total bases and team batting average in a 26-5, five-inning rout of in-state rival Iowa State on Saturday at the Littlewood Classic.
The Hawkeyes collected hits in 29-of-44 at-bats to post a school record .659 team batting average. The team scored 26 runs on 29 hits with 23 RBI, while finishing with 41 total bases.
Iowa’s previous run record was 26 in 1997, the hits record was 19, which occurred five times, the RBI record was 17 in 1997, and the total bases mark was 36 in 2005.
“It was nice to get pretty much everyone in the line-up to hit today,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “We had some key offensive outputs — Liz, Katie Keim, Bradi Wall — up-and-down the line-up. It was nice to have that, and it’s always nice when it’s your in-state rival to come out and be aggressive and assertive.”
Thirteen different UI players finished with at least one hit in the game. Senior Liz Watkins tied a school record with five hits, going 5-for-5 with five RBI and four runs scored. Senior Katie Keim set a school record with five runs scored, while also going 4-for-6 with five RBI. Two of her four hits were home runs, including a three-run long ball in the fifth inning.
Sophomore Kayla Massey went 4-for-4 with two RBI, while junior Bradi Wall went 4-for-4 with five RBI and one run scored. Freshman Megan Blank (3-for-5, three runs) and sophomore Brianna Luna (2-for-3, two runs) also collected multi-hit games.
The Hawkeyes plated their first two runs in the top of the second inning. Keim led off the frame with a solo home run over the left field fence before Massey’s RBI single plated Iowa’s second run.
Iowa blew the game open in the top of the third, sending 19 batters to the plate and scoring 13 runs on 13 hits. Watkins hit a towering two-run long ball to jumpstart the scoring and make the score 4-0. Wall also delivered a two-run double and seven Hawkeyes had at least one RBI in the inning.
“Scoring 13 runs (in an inning) against Iowa State in an in-state rivalry really sets the tone for the rest of the season,” said Watkins. “We’re going to build on it and swing at our pitches.”
The Cyclones plated an unearned run in the bottom of the third before Iowa added three more in its next at-bat. Iowa State took advantage of two “sun balls” to plate four runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Iowa pushed eight more across the plate in the top of the fifth inning.
Following back-to-back singles by Sam Valentine and Blank, Keim hit a three-run homer over the left field fence to make the score 21-5. The Hawkeyes pushed five more runs across the plate in the inning on RBIs by Michelle Zoeller, Ashley Akers, Wall and Watkins.
Iowa forced the Cyclones to use four pitchers in the game. None of the four hurlers gave up fewer than five runs.
Massey scattered four hits in the complete game victory. All five runs Iowa State scored were unearned, and Massey finished with four strikeouts to five walks in the game. The sophomore had a no-hitter through three innings.
Iowa (5-4) returns to action Sunday morning against Central Michigan in its Littlewood Classic finale.