Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowans Amber Fiser, Kendyl Lindaman return with Minnesota to sting Iowa softball

Benton Community alum pitches a 2-hitter in Minnesota's 8-0 romp

Minnesota's Amber Fiser delivers a pitch during a Thursday's softball game against Iowa. Fiser pitched a six-strikeout two-hitter as the Gophers won, 8-0. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Minnesota's Amber Fiser delivers a pitch during a Thursday's softball game against Iowa. Fiser pitched a six-strikeout two-hitter as the Gophers won, 8-0. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
/

IOWA CITY — Amber Fiser hopes to slip away for a few hours this weekend. Home is about 45 minutes away.

“I need to go see my dog,” she said, referring to her family’s black Labrador retriever, Deuce. “I really miss him.”

The former Benton Community ace, Fiser was dominant in the pitching circle Thursday night as Minnesota blanked Iowa, 8-0, in the opening contest of a three-game Big Ten softball series in front of a crowd of 505 Thursday night at Bob Pearl Field.

Fiser (15-8) crafted a six-inning, two-hit gem, striking out six and walking one. She threw 87 pitches — 55 for strikes — as Minnesota improved to 22-14 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten.

“I threw pretty well,” she said. “I might have gotten a little tired.”

Minnesota’s No. 2 pitcher last year as a freshman (she was 14-0), Fiser is the Gophers’ top thrower now. She owns a 1.90 ERA, striking out 162 and walking 49 in 151 1/3 innings.

In a weekend series like this, she generally starts in the first and third games and is available to close in the second, if necessary.

“The coaches talked about the maturity necessary to be a No. 1,” said Fiser, who led Benton to a Class 3A state title in 2016.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“I think my mentality is stronger now. You can’t overlook anybody. Every single batter is tough.”

This weekend’s schedule was reconfigured due to a miserable weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday. The teams are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Another sophomore and native Iowan, Kendyl Lindaman of Ankeny roped a two-run homer to left field in the fifth inning, stretching Minnesota’s lead to 5-0. The Gophers tacked on three runs in the sixth and ended this one early.

The home run was Lindaman’s 14th this season, her 34th in her college career.

“It was nice to see some pitches I could hit today,” she said after taking a multitude of intentional walks recently.

Lindaman was walked regularly throughout her high-school career at Ankeny Centennial, too, but still managed to set the state career record for home runs, with 71.

She said she was contacted by Iowa during her Centennial career, but “they didn’t recruit me heavily. So I found an amazing place (at Minnesota),” where she was a first-team all-American as a freshman.

Fiser was never contacted by the Hawkeyes, she said.

“Not at all,” she said. “We have five Iowans on our team (at Minnesota), and it was pretty much the same story for all of us. It is what it is, and I’m happy where I am.”

Fiser retired the first six batters she faced, striking out the side in the bottom of the second. She gave up an infield single to Angela Schmiederer on a 20-foot dribbler in the third, then a double to Sarah Kurtz in the fourth. And that was it.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“Amber is really good about attacking batters early in the count,” said Lindaman, the Gophers’ catcher. “She has good speed, and she has a good offspeed pitch.

“It’s so much fun to catch her. It’s fun to come back and play in our home state. We had a lot of people here to support us.”

Iowa slipped to 19-19 and 5-6.

MINNESOTA 8, IOWA 0 (6 innings)

At Iowa City

Minnesota 030 023 — 8 9 0

Iowa 000 000 — 0 2 2

Amber Fiser and Kendyl Lindaman. Allison Doocy, Kenzie Ihle (6) and Angela Schmiederer. W — Fiser (15-8). L — Doocy (12-9). HR — Minnesota: Lindaman (14).

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.