Cyclones search to fill holes in softball lineup

Ben Paulus

The 2015 ISU softball team will look considerably different when it takes the field at the Cyclones Sports Complex this season.

The Cyclones will have to replace five seniors from the 2014 roster — Sara Davison, Sarah Hawryluk, Sara Rice, Liana Henry and Hally Lenzine.

While Iowa State will have to fill the holes left by those seniors in the field, the Cyclones have a number of key pieces returning to the team.

A new group of six Cyclones will take over as senior leaders on the team. Starting shortstop Lexi Slater and first baseman Jorden Spendlove will come back for their senior campaign.

Pitchers Paris Imholz, Madison Jones and Stacy Roggentien will also return for their senior season, as well as infielder Maddie Reese.

Speedster Brittany Gomez, who set the school record for career stolen bases as a sophomore in 2014, will continue to roam center field for the Cyclones next season. Gomez was the Cyclones’ team leader in batting average and hits last season.

Also returning for the Cyclones is Aly Cappaert. Cappaert has been huge offensively for Iowa State in her first two seasons. She’ll return as an integral part of the Cyclones’ batting order.

The Cyclones had a pair of freshman standouts in 2014. Starting pitcher Katie Johnson and catcher Rachel Hartman will look to build upon their strong freshman performances in 2015.

Iowa State will retain six everyday starters in 2015. However, the Cyclones will have to find replacements for two infield positions. Second base and third base will be vacant with the departures of Rice and Davison.

The Cyclones will also have to replace a pair of corner outfielders with Henry and Hawryluk graduating in 2014.

Iowa State is returning a number of important pieces on the field and in the batting order in 2015, but with the departure of five seniors, the Cyclones will be looking feverishly for replacements.

Iowa State could rebuild from within the clubhouse. Aside from Johnson and Hartman, the Cyclones will have a couple of players returning for their sophomore season with not much experience.

Infielders Sam Reyes, Megan McGuire and Hope Scheffert all return as possible contenders for starting positions next season.

The Cyclones could also look to sign incoming freshmen and transfer athletes to join the program next season.

ISU softball will have a new look in 2015, but that shouldn’t prevent the Cyclones from contending next season in the Big 12.