Late Hit Propells Iowa to Title Game

Lincoln -- Kylie Murray's sixth-inning RBI double provided the final margin as Iowa defeated Nebraska in an elimination game in front of 521 fans at Bowlin Stadium Saturday at the NCAA Softball Regional at Lincoln.

Iowa advanced to Sunday's championship game at 1 p.m. against the region's top seed Washington. The Hawkeyes, who won two elimination games Saturday, will need to win twice over the Huskies to advance to next weekend's Super Regional round. Nebraska's season is over after compiling a 36-23 record.

The Hawkeyes, who improved to 50-13 with the victory, picked up all the offense they would need in the sixth.

Stacy May walked with one out to start the rally before Kylie Murray laced a two-out line drive to right center to score Mays from first. The blast went nearly to the wall and carromed off the glove of NU center fielder Trisha Tannahill as Murray came into second base standing up. 

Iowa pitcher Ali Arnold held Nebraska in check, going 3.1 innings without allowing a hit before Lizzy Rock singled to center with one out. Tannahill added the Huskers' second hit of the frame one out later but Arnold got catcher Jamie Waldecker to pop up to the circle for the final out.

Rock added another single in the sixth, finishing 2 for 2 as the Huskers were shut out for the 11th time this season.

Pitching her third game in two days, Nebraska sophomore Ashley DeBuhr looked like she could keep Iowa in check as she allowed two singles over the first five innings. DeBuhr finished the game with eight strikeouts against one walk. DeBuhr finished the regional tournament with 37 strikeouts against six walks while allowing seven runs over three games.


owa Head Coach Gayle Blevins

On Iowa's two wins

"I think our kids really brought out the Hawkeye spirit and played a couple of great games today.  In our first game, [Stacy] May was on fire and [Lisa] Birocci was pitching really well.  And Nebraska played a great game and it really came down to the difference between getting a hit in clutch situations.  I'm proud of our kids because they had their back against the wall twice today and gave great performances both times."


On playing Washington in the championship

"We'll go into tomorrow like we did today.  We know that we have to take care of the first game before we can worry about a second.  We'll come out and play hard and whatever happens happens and it won't be because of a lack of effort."


Left Fielder Kylie Murray

On getting a double after struggling at the plate all tournament

"You've just got to let things go as they come.  It comes down to knowing you'll get it down when you need it and you can't worry about every other at bat that went wrong."


Pitcher Ali Arnold

On handling Nebraska's offense

"We were familiar with their offense because we played them earlier this season, so we knew that the key would be to keep their slappers off base.  Our defense picked that up and executed well and were able to contain that part of their game plan."



Nebraska Head Coach Rhonda Revelle

On Saturday's two tough games

"The first loss took a lot out of us. For a moment we were sitting in the driver's seat and in the blink of an eye it was gone. The last game, it was really a pitcher's dual and they came up with the huge hit. We responded well in the second game but their pitcher was working well in the zone and had good speeds, so you have to tip your hat to her."


On facing Ali Arnold
"Arnold had better movement today and they didn't hit her well except Lizzy (Rock) who seem like was the only one who could hit her. It was a tough loss and it is never easy to end the season."


On Ashley DeBuhr's performance
"Ashley is a competitor first and foremost. She doesn't back down from anyone. We expected this much from her and thought all along this is what she could do this season."


On the games going either way
"Creighton was just one pitch away from being in the winner's bracket game, and we were not far from playing tomorrow as well."


On fighting to the end of the game

"I am really proud of this team and the way it fought especially at the end of the season. It was an up and down year in a lot of ways but every time they would get down, they'd get right back up. That's the exciting part of this and why we're here and getting to where we did."


Big Red Report Top Stories