SOFTBALL: Cornhuskers shutout Cyclones

Photo: Logan Gaedke/Iowa State Daily

Logan Gaedke

Photo: Logan Gaedke/Iowa State Daily

Jordan Wickstrom

After a sluggish first inning, the Cyclones dropped their seventh straight game, losing to Nebraska 10-0 in five innings.

Sophomore pitcher Rachel Zabriskie surrendered five first inning runs. Of the five runs, none were earned as the Cyclones committed a pair of errors.

The Cyclones were able to get two runners on base in the first inning but were unable to get either of them across the plate.

Nebraska was able to knock out Zabriskie in the second inning after sophomore infielder Julie Brechtel hit a two-run home run. Freshman pitcher Lauren Kennewell came out of the bullpen to relieve Zabriskie after one and one third innings of work.

Nebraska would put up two more runs in the fourth inning to extend its lead to nine.

Iowa State on the other hand continued to struggle as seven straight batters were retired by Nebraska’s pitching duo of Molly hill and Ashley Hagemann.

After a double by Brechtel in the fifth inning, Nebraska would take a 10-0 lead and ultimately win by way of the mercy rule.

Combined Zabriskie and Kennewell allowed 10 runs with only four of them being earned, while walking four batters and striking out three. The Cyclones’ offense was unable to get much of anything going as they were only able to conjure up two hits.

Junior infielder Courtney Wray was one of three batters to get on base and the only Cyclone batter to reach base in each of her at-bats. Wray believes that some of the offensive and defensive struggles that the team endured could be linked to a number of different reasons.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit with pitchers, just trying to adjust,” Wray said. “Big 12 pitchers are pretty good, so we’re trying to adjust to their pitching style. Some girls hadn’t had any at-bats recently, so they were trying to get back into the groove of seeing a live pitcher.

Defensively, some people were in positions that they weren’t totally comfortable in or hadn’t taken any reps. I think that a little bit of nerves played a role at the very beginning.”

Despite the seven runs allowed, coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler still felt confident about Zabriskie’s pitching.

“She’s been such a competitor for us and she’s done a great job,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “Today, she just didn’t have it. She’s not going to have it every time she comes out, she’s definitely not going to have it after she’s thrown over 200 innings. She didn’t have it today but I know next time we come out and play she’ll be ready.”