Cyclones finish weekend with pair of close wins

Dan Cole

Iowa State began its softball season in Ames this weekend, facing Valparaiso on Saturday and Green Bay and Western Illinois on Sunday. The Cyclones (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) got off to a shaky start on Saturday but finished the weekend on a high note with back-to-back victories.

The Cyclones opened the weekend on Saturday afternoon by losing to Valparaiso (3-1, 0-0 Horizon League) by a score of 11-5. The Crusaders jumped to an early lead, scoring six runs in the first three innings. They added four more in the bottom of the sixth to seal the victory.

Valparasio starting pitcher Sam McGee kept Iowa State’s bats quiet as she recorded four scoreless innings to start the game. Crusaders designated hitter Brittany Duncan went 2 for 4 from the cleanup spot, including a home run and four RBIs.

Cyclones designated hitter Tori Torrescano drove in two runs on two hits including her first home run of the season. Center fielder Jennifer Drahozal added two hits from the leadoff spot.

Iowa State defeated Green Bay (1-3, 0-0 Horizon League) on Sunday morning by a score of 3-2. Both teams scored two runs in the second inning and remained knotted until Cyclones first baseman Erica Miller belted a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth.

Torrescano pitched a complete game against the Phoenix, striking out four batters and allowing just two earned runs. The win was Torrescano’s first of the season.

Miller’s go-ahead home run in the sixth inning was her first of the season. She also recorded an RBI ground-rule double in the bottom of the second. Miller had a busy game in the field as well, recording 13 putouts at first base.

The Cyclones ended the weekend by defeating Western Illinois (1-2, 0-0 Summit League) by a score of 6-2 in extra innings. The score was deadlocked 1-1 until Iowa State used two home runs and a single to score five runs in the top of the eighth.

ISU starting pitcher Miranda Kemp allowed just four hits and one run in six innings of work. However, it was Torrescano earning the victory, her second of the day, for her two late innings of work.

Torrescano continued to come up big in the batter’s box as well, hitting a two-run homer with two outs in the top of the eighth to extend the Cyclones’ lead to three runs. Two batters later, right fielder Anna Cole secured the win for Iowa State, adding a two-run homer of her own.

Iowa State returns to the field on Friday, Feb. 17 for the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz.