Softball team sweeps Oklahoma State at debut of new field

John Barry

The ISU softball team was looking for anything to build on after being swept by Baylor in its first Big 12 series last weekend.

The team might have found just that in its new home.

The newly renovated Cyclone Sports Complex opened its gates for the first time this weekend, showcasing the first three home games for the softball team — all of which came in the form of victories.

“It’s great to have the new facility and maybe we are creating our own ‘Hilton Magic’ here,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “I cannot even put in to words how much these wins mean for our program.”

The Cyclones held off an Oklahoma State team that came in on a serious hot streak, winning 17 of their last 19 games. On Sunday, the team held off a late rally by the Cowgirls to complete the three-game sweep.

Oklahoma State (24-17, 2-4 Big 12) got out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning on pitcher Riley Fisher, but the Cyclones quickly responded with a four-run inning of their own in the second to tie the score.

Another four-run inning in the fourth would ultimately seal the deal for Iowa State (17-19, 3-3) in the 9-7 victory on Sunday. Senior Tori Torrescano picked up her second save of the season. 

Sophomore Maddie Reese hit a solo home run, scored two runs and drove in another to pace the team offensively, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

“My first at-bat I was a little shaky,” Reese said. “But after that, I talked to coach G, calmed down a little bit and I saw the ball a lot better.”

The Cyclones were out-hit in all three games in the series against Oklahoma State, but still managed to drive in the timely runs and get the team’s first three Big 12 wins.

Senior first-baseman Erica Miller tied a school record for career RBIs in the series finale. She tallied her 134th RBI when she drove in Sarah Hawryluk and Brittany Gomez.

“It helps a lot that Sarah [Hawryluk] and B-Go [Gomez] have been able to get on base,” Miller said. “I did a pretty good job of putting it in play. It’s just a matter of putting it where they can run. It’s definitely exciting and hopefully we can get some more this season.”

The Cyclones have already totaled more Big 12 Conference wins than all of last season. This was the team’s first three-game series sweep since the Big 12 switched from two to three game series in 2011.

“We have been scratching and clawing all season to get these types of wins,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “Our whole team deserves credits for these three big wins. It wasn’t a pretty game but it goes in the win column and that’s all that matters.”