ISU softball prepared for in-state rival, look to rebound from last year


Miranda Cantrell/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Brittany Gomez swings for the ball during the Cyclones game against South Dakota State at the Bergstrom Football Complex on Feb. 9. The Cyclones beat the Jackrabbits 4-1.

Rachel Anderson

Last year, Iowa State lost the in-state rivalry 4-3. This year, Iowa State is a different team coming in to the game against Drake.

“I think they might think of us as our last year’s team, and we’re a totally different team from last year,” said sophomore outfielder Brittany Gomez. “We have an advantage over them because they don’t know really what we have this year compared to whatever it was last year. I think we have more all-around, everybody helping as a team instead of one here, one there like last year.”

The team has done a lot to improve its game from last year to this year, especially against an in-state rival like Drake.

No matter what, in-state teams are always good to play ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler believes.

“I think that it’s always good game, so I always think that’s fun and exciting,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

The Cyclones have been working on the things they struggled most with in going against Drake in the past, including hitting a pitcher like Bulldogs pitcher, junior Rebekah Schmidt, to prepare for the game April 9.

“[Schmidt] has a nice curve ball, nice change up. She’s thrown a bulk of their innings. That’s the thing we have been working on, hitting her,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. 

Freshman pitcher Katie Johnson wants to bounce back from the tough loses against Oklahoma State this past weekend.

Drake has won three of the last four games it has played. One of those games was against another in-state rival, Iowa.

Johnson said this gives Drake momentum to try to win another in-state rivalry. Gomez said her team has been working on different things to pull out a victory Wednesday.

“We’re working on different types of speed in pitching and just getting reps in. Even though we’re still in season getting all our reps in and working on the little things, we have to work on like situations,” Gomez said. 

Iowa State takes on Drake at 5 p.m. April 9 in Des Moines. 

“I think it will be good to just really compete and show who we are,” Johnson said. “I think this will set the tone for this weekend and how we play. I think it will carry on. Getting to play Drake I think will be nice.”