Cyclones open Big 12 season at Baylor


Senior pitcher Tori Torrescano throws a pitch in the ISU game against Indiana State on Feb. 10 at Bergstrom Complex. Torrescano pitched the whole game and gave up seven hits in the 7-2 victory.

John Barry

After going 4-6 on a road stint in Florida during Spring Break, the ISU softball team heads to Waco, Texas, for its Big 12 opener in a three-game series with Baylor, starting March 29, 2013.

Iowa State (14-16, 0-0 Big 12) is coming off a week of ups and downs, losing a pair of heartbreak one-run games to Florida Gulf Coast and Dartmouth but also seeing personal successes, including senior Tori Torrescano throwing a no-hitter against Elon and Brittany Gomez breaking the steals record against Florida Gulf Coast.

There are some other good aspects the players and coaches hope to carry over from their Spring Break road trip, as well.

“I think our pitching saw some improvements and there were definitely some positives to build off of last week,” said Torrescano. “Taylor [Smith] and Riley [Fisher] had some solid performances and that should boost our confidence.”

The first game of this series will be the team’s 26th-straight road game.

Baylor (26-7, 0-2) is 13-3 at home this year and Iowa State has not won in Waco since 2008. Getting the Lady Bears out of sync early will be a goal for the team. 

“We have struggled with slow starts lately,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “It is important … that we come out and attack them with our offense early.”

The first inning has been key for the Cyclones this season. The squad is 9-4 when it scores in the opening frame and 9-2 when leading after one inning.

However, the Cyclones are 2-10 when their opponent touches home plate in the first and 1-10 when trailing after one inning.

The Lady Bears are ranked 16th in the nation and have been riding the successes of All-American pitcher Whitney Canion (13-4).

Canion was Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the seventh time in her career last week. She has thrown four no-hitters in her career and boasts a 0.97 ERA and 110 strikeouts this season.

“We have been turning up the machines a little faster to prepare for pitchers like Canion,” Torrescano said. “We are lucky to have the ability to practice some of her drop ball pitches as well.”

The Cyclones will play a doubleheader on March 29.