ISU softball bids farewell to five seniors


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Senior outfielder Sarah Hawryluk slides into thrid base during Iowa State’s 6-5 win against South Dakota in the first game of their doubleheader on April 22 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Ben Paulus

The ISU softball team has its fair share of youth on this season’s roster.

A couple of freshmen, Rachel Hartman and Katie Johnson, have assimilated into their roles as everyday starters for Iowa State at catcher and pitcher respectively.

Sophomores Brittany Gomez and Aly Cappaert have led the Cyclones in most offensive categories on the season. Gomez leads the way sporting a .405 batting average, and Cappaert has a team-high 10 home runs and 41 runs batted in.

Among all this young talent, the Cyclones have a core group of seniors who have been equally important to this team’s success. With senior day against Big 12 foe Baylor fast approaching May 4, the team has started to think about all that the seniors have done for the program.

“I think all of the seniors this season have been super important in a number of different ways,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “They are all really good leaders both on and off the field. They’re all very confident, but at the same time they’re able to balance each other out.”

Iowa State will graduate five seniors this season, including four who have served as everyday players this season.

Starting second baseman Sara Davison and third baseman Sara Rice make up half of the ISU infield. Outfielders Sarah Hawryluk and Liana Henry have also played a significant amount time for Iowa State this season.

Senior Hally Lenzine, who has missed most of this season due to an injury, rounds out this season’s graduating class of five.

The Cyclones have had a number of key contributors this season, with six players hitting above .330 on the season.

Hawryluk leads all ISU seniors offensively with a .345 batting average from the second spot in the batting order.

“One thing I’ve really enjoyed during my time at Iowa State has been all the fun that the girls have together,” Hawryluk said. “I’ve really been able to enjoy playing because of the balance between softball and life.”

Davison has been a fixture for the Cyclones since her arrival in Ames in 2011. As a four-year starter at Iowa State, Davison has been equally valuable both on and off the field.

She is the only senior to start every game this season. The second baseman is hitting a respectable .288 in 48 games on the season and registering a .971 fielding percentage on defense.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing alongside all of my Iowa State teammates,” Davison said. “I think that the team this year is the best and most complete team I’ve been on since I’ve been here.”

Graduating alongside Davison and Hawryluk will be Rice. She is among the team leaders in runs batted in with 27 on the season.

Iowa State will also need to find replacements for Henry, who started 28 games for the Cyclones, as well as Lenzine.

“I think [in regards to leadership] it’s going to be very different on the field without these girls, and especially when there are five of them? Yeah it’s going to be hard,” said ISU shortstop Lexi Slater. “But I think we have a leader from every class who will hopefully step up in their absence.”

Iowa State will take on Baylor in a three-game series May 2 through 4 and Drake on May 6 for its final four home games. The Drake games will be the final games in Ames for the five senior players.

The Cyclones will honor its seniors at 11 a.m. May 4 at the Cyclone Sports Complex against Baylor in the series finale.