Softball team to face Marshalltown in doubleheader

Zach Gourley

The ISU softball team is preparing for its final action of the 2011 fall schedule in a doubleheader against Marshalltown Community College this Saturday.

Saturday’s games will be the last time the Cyclones will play for four months until the spring season begins in February.

“We need to end the fall season on a good note,” said Cyclone outfielder Jennifer Drahozal. “Keeping the momentum going into the winter and spring will be big for us.”

The Cyclones are 5-1 so far in their brief slate of fall games, highlighted by a 6-2 victory against Northern Iowa and a 9-1 run-rule win against Iowa.

The sole blemish on the Cyclones’ record came in a 9-0 loss to Drake at the Iowa Big Four tournament in Des Moines.

After two wins this past weekend against an over-matched Kirkwood team, the Cyclones are hoping to be tested in this Saturday’s doubleheader.

“I hope Marshalltown is a little better competition as far as getting more plays in the infield,” said Cyclone first baseman Erica Miller. “I’d like to see a little more action as far as making defensive plays and having them put runners on base and put some pressure on us in certain situations.”

For ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler and her staff, one of the keys to being successful this fall was evaluating their young team, which has nine freshmen and 10 sophomores on its 25-player roster.

“The big thing for us was trying to solve a little bit of that unknown,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “Getting some answers on people who are new or new to their positions and then seeing what kind of depth we had.”

Freshmen Jorden Smith and Lexi Slater are two newcomers who have made an immediate impact and have both been mainstays in the starting lineup for the Cyclones this fall.

“I feel like our talent level is a lot higher this year and it seems like we have a lot more depth in our lineup offensively,” Miller said. “Right now, I have some pretty high expectations for this spring and I think the coaches do too, because they’ve been working us pretty hard.”

The Cyclones’ doubleheader against Marshalltown will be this Saturday at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Ames, with the first game set to start at 1 p.m.