Lights out: ISU softball ends in an abrupt 6-6 tie with Iowa

Ben Paulus

The matchup between the ISU softball team and in-state rival University of Iowa, which featured an 84-minute rain delay, ended in the most abrupt of ways.

The game was called as a 6-6 tie due to the limited amount of light outdoors and the Cyclone Sports Complex field not having lights on the diamond. Iowa State, which had already clinched the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series, is ahead of Iowa 13-10-1 in those standings for the 2013-14 school year.

The Cyclones started out hot offensively briefly before umpires issued the delay, which was originally planned for 30 minutes. A pair of base hits by Brittany Gomez and Sarah Hawryluk and a passed ball to Lexi Slater, allowing Gomez to score was all that could be fit in before the rain.

Umpires called the game during Slater’s at-bat in the bottom of the first inning with Hawryluk still on third base and no outs.

“Potentially it can be a different look with the bad weather,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “I thought they came out excited to play, and did a good job of refocusing after the rain delay.”

After the grounds crew deemed the field playable, the Cyclones continued right where they left off, scoring two more runs to make it three total runs in the first.

The field conditions were less than ideal after the delay, which meant Iowa State needed to make a few adjustments to get the victory.

Freshman Katie Johnson was on the mound for her 33rd start for the season. After pitching the top of the first, it took more than an hour before Johnson was able to get back on the mound.

“You almost have to completely re-warm up after the rain delay,” Johnson said. “It’s important to have the same mentality before the weather delay as well as after it.”

Iowa was able to climb back to within a single run of Iowa State in the top of the second with the help of a two-run home run off Johnson by Hawkeye pitcher Kayla Massey.

Johnson was able to settle in and find a groove after surrendering an early homer; however, the Hawkeyes would go on to score all six of their runs via the long ball.

In the bottom of the third inning, Iowa State was able to provide Johnson with more run support. Second baseman Sara Davison brought home two more runs on a triple to right field, putting the Cyclones up by three.

“We did a better job executing with runners on base today,” Davison said. “We’ve been working on getting our number of runs closer to our number of hits.”

Heading into the top of the fourth, Iowa was able to pull within two runs after the Hawkeyes’ designated hitter Whitney Repole connected on a solo home run to right-center field.

Iowa State answered with another run scored by Gomez on a single to right field by freshman catcher Rachel Hartman.

However, in true back-and-forth fashion, Iowa was able to add a pair of homers, a solo and two-run, to tie the game up for the Hawkeyes in the top of the fifth.

After Johnson allowed the tying run, Iowa State made the move to the bullpen. The Cyclones brought in Paris Imholz to limit the damage.

After Davison walked with one out, Sara Rice sacrifice bunted the winning run to second base. With two outs, however, Iowa State was unable to find the game winner as Maddie Reese flew out to center field to end the threat.

After the Cyclones were retired in the bottom of the fifth, the umpires convened and decided to call the game due to darkness, leaving the game at a 6-6 tie.