SOFTBALL: Iowa State travels to the Georgia Tournament

Michael Zogg

The Georgia Tournament will provide the highest profile team Iowa State has played yet this year in No. 6 Georgia, and Iowa State gets to play them twice this weekend.

The Cyclones (6–5) travel to Athens, Ga., this weekend for another five-game tournament. In addition to two games against Georgia, Iowa State will play South Alabama, St. John’s and Charleston Southern.

Last season, Georgia fell just short of the national championship game as it made a trip to the World Series, where it went 3–2 with both losses coming against eventual national champion Washington.

“They went to the World Series last year,” said senior first baseman Sydni Jones. “We got to see them on TV. That is the kind of team we want to be playing. So to have the opportunity to play Georgia, not once, but twice is great, because that is the kind of team we need to be playing against and beating in order to get to where we want to go.”

Iowa State is confident that it will have some success against Georgia. Both Jones and senior outfielder Kelsey Kidwell said they were looking forward to beating Georgia this weekend.

“We have been playing well no matter who we are playing, and Georgia is just another team,” Kidwell said. “We are just going to go out there and play as well as we have been playing and we will be fine.”

One of the reasons for the Cyclones’ confidence is their consistency against good competition. This season, Iowa State has upped the level of competition it faces in the non-conference portion of its schedule, especially early in the year.

Although the 6–5 start that the team has gotten off to hardly mirrors last year’s 10–1 start, the team is more pleased with this season’s mark.

“It is definitely a little disappointing to not be able to say we are 11–0 or 12–0, but with the games we have won so far, those are great wins for us, and even our losses have come against good teams and ranked teams,” Kidwell said. “They have been really close.”

The Georgia Tournament may hold a trap game or two for the Cyclones. They play their only ranked opponent, Georgia, in the second and fourth games this weekend. That means in every game against a non-ranked team they will either have a game with Georgia looming or they will be coming out of one.

Iowa State is not worried about a letdown, however. The team says it feels focused, as it has all season.

Although this year’s team thinks consistency is one of its strengths, it has been an issue for Cyclone teams in the past couple years. Coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler thinks the team is over that, though.

“The senior class has a good control over that,” she said. “They know the importance of consistent play. I think that they intended to in the past, but even though their intentions were right, they still didn’t get the job done. Now, their intentions are right and they clearly see what they need to do in order to get it done.”