ISU softball readies for South Dakota

Ben Paulus

After its Big 12 bye weekend, the Iowa State softball (20-22, 1-8 Big 12) will be searching for consistency in a doubleheader against the University of South Dakota (24-16, 6-5 Summit) on Tuesday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

After losing a tight game 3-2 to Nebraska-Omaha on April 16, the Cyclones hope the extra days of practice will prove beneficial.

“I think the bye week was a really good time to focus on what we needed to in practice,” said ISU pitcher Paris Imholz. “We had a weekend of rest, but also a good chunk of practice time in there as well.”

Originally, the Cyclones and Coyotes were set to square off March 25. Due to rain, however, the doubleheader was subsequently pushed back to March 27.

After yet another rain cancellation forced teams to reschedule for a later date, the teams are finally prepared to face one another.

Since they have essentially prepared for the Coyotes twice already, the Cyclones bye weekend was more importantly a time for the team to work on adjustments to their own game plan.

“We have had a lot of training these past few days,” said ISU first baseman Jorden Spendlove. “We’re working on our situational hitting, because we haven’t been able to execute as much as we would like to.”

Against Omaha on April 16, Iowa State left a total of 11 runners on the base paths. Executing offensively with runners on base is something the Cyclones consider a top priority, especially when the pitching is able to limit the opponent to three runs or less.

“After the game [on April 16], I talked about how when people are on base and you come up to bat, you really need to crave that opportunity to drive them in,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “It’s something to get excited about.”

The opportunities for the Cyclones are there. It’s just a matter of producing runs in less than ideal situations.

With a chance to get back to the .500 mark April 22, Iowa State will hope to get back two key contributors who missed time last week.

Senior right fielder Sarah Hawryluk, who has been a catalyst offensively for the Cyclones out of the second spot in the lineup, missed the past three games for Iowa State with a back injury.

Freshman ace Katie Johnson also missed time for the Cyclones last week with an undisclosed illness. Having pitched last against Drake on April 9, Iowa State hopes to have its starting pitcher back in the circle April 22 to take on South Dakota.

The doubleheader between the Cyclones and Coyotes will take place at the Cyclones Sports Complex April 22. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 2 p.m. with game two tentatively scheduled to start at 4 p.m.