TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Western Illinois softball dropped its final contest at the Bama Bash on Sunday (Feb. 24) to Iowa 12-4 after six innings of play. The run rule loss brings the Leathernecks to 2-5 on the season and moves the Hawkeyes to 10-5.
The game went back and forth until Iowa pulled away scoring five runs on five hits in the fifth inning and added two more in the sixth to end the game early.
Sammy Marshall opened the first frame with a walk then stole second to reach scoring position. Briana Williams followed with a bunt single and stolen base of her own. Lia Romeo capitalized on the situation plating Marshall when she hit a liner at the Iowa pitcher, who knocked it down and made the play at first.
In bottom half of the inning, the Hawkeyes responded notching two runs on a single to center field after a single and two walks loaded up the bases.
After a scoreless second, Briana Williams picked up her second single and stolen base of the contest to reach scoring position in the third. A Monica Rondon walk and a Lia Romeo hit by pitch loaded up the bases for Teagan Walsh who picked up her second RBI of the season on a fielder's choice tying the game 2-2. The Hawkeyes responded with a run of their own on two hits in the bottom half of the third to break the tie.
In the top of the fourth, an error, Marshall single and Williams single loaded the bases for Western Illinois with one away. Romeo knocked a single through the right side to plate two and give the Leathernecks a 4-2 advantage. But it wouldn't last long as Iowa scored two in the bottom half of the inning.
The Hawkeyes added five runs in the fifth and two in the sixth ending the battle and solidifying its 12-4, six inning victory.
Leading the way for Western offensively was Williams, who went 3-for-4 at the plate and stole two bases. Marshall and Romeo added one hit apiece going 1-for-3 and 1-for-2, respectively. Romeo had a team-most three RBI.
Starting pitcher Kelsey Michelini took the loss in the circle bringing her record to 1-3 on the young season. In her 3.1 innings, she allowed seven earned runs and picked up a strikeout. Walsh tossed the remaining 1.2 innings allowing five earned runs.
Two members of the Leatherneck team, Marshall and Walsh, were named to the Bama Bash All-Tournament team. Marshall hit .444 (8-for-18) on the weekend with one double and four stolen bases, while Walsh hit .231 (3-for-13) with an RBI and posted a team-best ERA of 4.67 with five strikeouts in her 9.0 innings pitched.
Western Illinois is back in action next weekend at the 2013 Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Ill. The squad opens play on Saturday (Mar. 2) against Northern Illinois at 10 a.m. and Southern Illinois at 12 p.m.