Understudies take to main stage in softball victory


Infielder Tori Torrescano celebrates her game-winning home run with teammate Anna Cole. Torrescano’s home run put the Cyclones in the lead and won the game with a score of 8-6.

Darrin Cline

Miller, Zabriskie, Kidwell, and Torrescano. The same names routinely show up when it becomes time to shine for the ISU softball team.

While Torrescano may have won the game with her grand slam, it was the play of many unheralded underclassmen players that put the Cyclones in a position to capitalize on the opportunity.

Recent injuries put Amandine Habben on the bench and moved Sara Davison to designated hitter. Habben’s arm injury opened the door for freshman Evan Folks.

Folks, who only started nine previous games, was a target for the Bulldogs offense. Despite Drake’s multiple steal attempts, ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler was pleased with the play of her young catcher.

“Defending second on the steal is something we have been working on and Evan actually has a really really good arm, but we probably should have prepared her a little bit better for this game,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Davison, the regular Cyclone shortstop, was supplanted by freshman Cassie Knutson. Much like Folks, Knutson has seen limited time, but has made the most of her opportunities. Against Drake, Knutson contributed one hit and an RBI, but was most prevalent as a defensive stopper in the infield.

“We always have to be prepared for everything and I know my role and that’s to come in when Sara [Davison] needs me,” Knutson said.

Of all the freshmen who have stepped up, perhaps no one has done it more consistently than Anna Cole. Cole took over in right field midway through the season and has made the most of the opening.

Following the victory over Drake, Cole has extended her hitting streak to seven games. Against the Bulldogs, Cole added a run and an RBI to the winning effort.

“I don’t really follow stats I just go up to the plate with the mindset of get the ball in play and get a base hit,” Cole said.

Youth has been a main concern for a team with only five juniors and seniors. Nonetheless, Cole has confidence in her teammates and views the varying line up as a positive.

“It’s good to give everyone a chance and we do have such a young team so most of the players that get in are going to be young,” Cole said. “I think it’s good to get everyone a chance so next year they aren’t going into games blind and are ready.”

As for the future of the regular lineup, Gemeinhardt-Cesler is still uncertain. The team has taken steps to move Torrescano from designated hitter to outfield, which has opened a hole that has been filled by a variety of players.

With experienced stars shifting positions and young players filling starting spots, the Cyclones can be confident and trust in each other when the time to shine arises.