Cyclone hitters shine at only six games in


Photo: Tim Reuter/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Tori Torrescano winds up for a pitch against Valparaiso during the softball game Sunday at the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility.

Zach Gourley

The ISU softball team scored a combined 62 runs in its first six games of the 2011 season at the Cyclone Indoor Invitational, ending with a 5-1 record.

Last year, the team did not score that many runs until Feb. 21, when it was already 14 games into its schedule.

“We have multiple people hitting over .500,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “It’s just amazing.”

Cyclone hitters abused opposing pitchers all weekend, combining for a team batting average of .423. Junior center fielder Heidi Kidwell showed why Gemeinhardt-Cesler selected her for the lead-off batting position.

Kidwell was 13-of-22 at the plate on the weekend, highlighted by her 4-of-4 performance with three RBIs against South Dakota State, a Cyclone victory that ended in a 16-2 beatdown.

Once reaching base, Kidwell seldom stayed put. She stole seven bases and scored a team-high 11 runs on the weekend.

“We’re off to a great start. As long as I’ve been here, we’ve never gotten off to this kind of start,” Kidwell said. “I’ve been really impressed with our team so far.”

Batting second in the order is another junior, right-fielder Bianca Lopez. Lopez hit .692 this weekend with nine RBIs on nine hits, after recording just 17 hits all of last season.

The offensive onslaught continued on down the order with Erica Miller and Tori Torrescano batting .421 and .524. Torrescano belted two home-runs on the weekend and added 12 RBIs.

Junior Dalyn Varela also had a coming-out party in a 9-1 win over the Western Illinois Leathernecks. Varela went 3-of-3 at the plate with four RBIs and a home-run.

“In practice we’ve been hitting really well and it’s just good to see us continue it in games,” Varela said.

Adding to the list of Cyclones who batted more than .400 were senior Carleigh Berry and freshman Sara Davison who hit .412 and .429,

“I’ve been pitching against them in practice and I get frustrated because they hit so well,” pitcher Rachel Zabriskie said. “I knew it was going to transfer over to the game.”

The Cyclone’s offense did sputter in the weekend finale, manufacturing just two runs on five hits in an 11-2 loss to Valparaiso.

Gemeinhardt-Cesler pointed to signs of focus issues as the culprit.

“We didn’t play well at all,” Gemeinhardt-Celser said. “We made a lot of mistakes and we didn’t hit like we had been.”