Cyclones struggle to find rhythm against Golden Gophers


ISU catcher Amandine Habben misses on her swing at a pitch during Thursday’s game against Minnesota. Habben and the Cyclones lost 11-3 in game two of the doubleheader.

Zach Gourley;

The Cyclone softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader Thursday to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The first game was a 10-inning marathon that ended with Minnesota picking up a 1-0 victory. The Cyclone offense was anemic throughout the game, amassing just seven hits while striking out a season-high 15 times.

Minnesota ace pitcher Sara Moulton baffled the ISU hitters for much of the game by taking advantage of the umpire’s wide strike zone and painting the outside corners of the plate.

“The freshman pitcher [Moulton] was really impressive, and I think she did a good job of throwing to the strike zone that was there, and in return we need to do the same thing,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “Offensively, you need to be aware of the strike zone as well and adjust to that in order to execute.”

Zabriskie pitched all 10 innings for Iowa State, giving up nine hits on 42 total batters faced.

The Cyclones had opportunities to take the win, specifically in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“It was frustrating because I got up to bat with the bases loaded in the seventh and I started second-guessing myself, and I missed a pitch that I could have gone the opposite way with, and I could have won the game,” ISU third baseman Dalyn Varela said. “It’s really frustrating when you know you’re not helping your pitcher.”

After the ninth inning was complete, the international tie-breaker was enforced, which automatically places a runner on second base to begin the inning. The runner placed on second base is the last batter from the previous inning, unless a pinch runner is used.

In the top of the 10th inning, Golden Gopher second baseman Dannie Skrove was on second due to the rule change, when Minnesota catcher Kari Dorle came to plate. Dorle drilled a double to center field that brought Skrove home, and ended up being the game-winning run.

In the second game, the wheels came off for the Cyclones in an 11-3 loss.

Lauren Kennewell started the game for Iowa State, but only lasted 1 1/3 innings before being replaced by Bree Holliday, who was later replaced by Tori Torrescano.

None of the pitchers fared well as Kennewell and Holliday each gave up four runs a piece, while Torrescano gave up three.

The Cyclones’ lone runs came in the bottom of the third when Varela smacked a three-run homer to left field.

“In the second game, it was something that we’ve been talking about where when you make one mistake, you can’t make another one,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “We just didn’t throw well, we didn’t defend well and we didn’t hit well.”

The Cyclones will be back in action this weekend to face Texas Tech at 2 p.m. Saturday in Ames.