ISU softball set to take on first ranked opponent


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Lexi Slater takes a swing during the ISU game against Indiana State. The Cyclone softball team led the game vs. the Sycamores, with a final score of 4-3. Due to weather limitations, the game was played indoors at the Bergstrom Football Complex.

Rachel Anderson

The ISU softball team has started the season off strong with a 12-2 record. The Cyclones hope to improve the record even more this weekend at the Purple and Gold Challenge in Baton Rouge, La.

The Cyclones will take on the biggest competition they have seen all season long. No. 21 Louisiana State will be the first ranked opponent Iowa State has faced this season.

ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler believes the Tigers will be the biggest competition this weekend. Gemeinhardt-Cesler said the Tigers have a good pitcher that Cyclones have to watch out for.

Junior infielder Lexi Slater is optimistic for this weekend. She’s excited about the more difficult competition Iowa State will be facing.

“I expect a lot of competition, a lot better competition,” Slater said. “I expect us to play a lot better than what we have been. Because when we face higher opponents we tend to play better. They should be good games and we’re hoping for wins.”

Freshman pitcher Katie Johnson said she wants to improve from last weekend. She also plans to use the loss to fuel the fire to beat the Tigers.

“We have high expectations for ourselves,” Johnson said. “I think we want to come out strong on offense. We were a bit down this past weekend so we want to get back up and continue to stay tough on defense from start to finish.”

Iowa State has tactics to help them beat Louisiana State. Slater said the Cyclones need to attack the Tigers first and get ahead of them from the beginning of the game.

“Out play them basically. Attack them when they’re confident. When they’re relaxed that’s when we need to score,” Slater said. “I don’t think that they’re going to come out and think they have to beat us [Iowa State] so we need to attack them first and be ahead in every inning. “

Gemeinhardt-Cesler believes Iowa State needs to keep the momentum of the game up by always feeling good as a team. It is a major component of the game to stay up always to help the attitudes towards the game be consistant.

Slater touches on the point that the Cyclones have to play together as a team this weekend to be successful with a ranked team.

“We got to pick each other up, keep going, definitely don’t give up, especially when we play higher teams like this,” Slater said. “If they get ahead, we can’t let them go all over us. We have to fight back and keep doing that and pushing a head.”

This is the third weekend in a row the Cyclones will be on road. Johnson thinks the team needs to stay energized to be successful while away from home.

“Just keeping a high energy from traveling weekend to weekend you get a little bit tired and I think we just got to stay high energy and hustling day in and day out,” Johnson said.