SOFTBALL: Cyclones split with Raiders, Zabriskie breaks record

David Merrill —

Iowa State opened up its Big 12 opener with a series against the Texas Tech Red Raiders this weekend and came away with a split, dropping the first game 6–3 Saturday and bouncing back with a 4–2 victory Sunday.

The Cyclones’ inability to get their hits out of the infield was the main cause of their demise in the first game.

“We were out in front of everything,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “We just had a hard time being patient, waiting, driving on the ball. We had a lot of ground ball outs on a day when it was really windy. It was that one day when you can hit the ball in the air and have some success, which they found out. They played to it better than we did.”

Texas Tech’s Logan Hall gave the Cyclones a challenge as she hit two of the three Red Raider home runs. Hall hit a three-run home run in the 4th inning and a two-run dinger in the sixth inning. This put Iowa State in a 6–1 hole going into the top of the seventh.

ISU freshman Tori Torrescano doubled and then scored on senior Kelsey Kidwell’s double — cutting the deficit to 6–2. Sophomore Bianca Lopez followed by knocking in Kidwell on a base hit, bringing the Cyclones a little closer, but it was still to no avail as Texas Tech pitcher Ashly Jacobs struck out senior Courtney Wray to end the game.

Iowa State put together a rebound effort on Sunday as starting pitcher junior Rachel Zabriskie put together a better effort on the mound and recorded her 50th career win. This gave Zabriskie the top spot for all-time wins in Iowa State history.

“Thats awesome,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “When you throw like she does, you’re going to break records. I don’t think she honestly cares at all, but its kind of neat for everybody else to see.”

Wray got the Cyclones off to a strong start, putting the ball over the fence putting the Cyclones up 2–0. The home run knocked in Lopez and was Wray’s second of the season and the ninth of her career. 

Sydni Jones added to the Cyclones’ tally in the fourth inning, as she doubled and then scored on a Kidwell single. Kidwell and Lopez combined in the fifth inning to increase the lead to 4–0.

Kidwell reached base safely seven-straight games and Lopez finished the game with a .448 on-base-percentage, which is the second highest on the team and highest among batters that have at least 40 at-bats.

The Red Raiders put together runs in the fifth and seventh innings, cutting the deficit to 4–2. The Cyclones hung on to win by that score. Texas Tech’s Ashley Brokeshoulder suffered the loss on the mound.

Gemeinhardt-Cesler felt that, overall, it was a strong start to the team’s conference opener.

“I think that after we lost on Saturday, the best thing we could do on Sunday is go out and compete really well and that’s what we did,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “We came out and we scored right away. When you do that, I think you set the pace for the day. We had three errors, but we did a good job of not letting those mistakes hurt us too bad. I thought that [Zabriskie] made some big pitches at times when she had to.”