SOFTBALL: Win needed to end team’s 3-game losing streak

Jordan Wickstrom —

The weather is forecasted to be cold this weekend, but the Cyclones (17-16, 0-2) are looking to heat up against Texas Tech (11-26, 0-4).

Despite Texas Tech struggling to pick up wins, the Cyclones understand that they cannot overlook the Red Raiders.

“The main thing is that you don’t worry about what someone else can do, you worry about what you can do,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “You just go out and you play your game … you don’t worry about the things you can’t control.”

The series does provide a very interesting pitching scenario. Texas Tech and Iowa State are currently 9th and 10th in the Big 12 in Earned run average in conference games.

In four conference games, Texas Tech has a team ERA of 6.19, while Iowa State holds an 11.81 ERA after two games, both against No. 11 Oklahoma. Iowa State will come out looking to improve in that number as well as exploit the fact Texas Tech is struggling with their pitching.

“I don’t think we’re so much worried about them,“ said junior infielder Sydni Jones. “I think we worry about ourselves and what we can do but when they show up we’re going to play whoever they pitch. It doesn’t matter if they’re the best pitchers in the Big 12 or the worst, we’re going to come out the same and we’re going to attack early and hopefully score more runs and help Rachel out.”

Due to several injuries to the Cyclones’ pitching staff, sophomore Rachel Zabriskie has been forced to carry the pitching load.

Gemeinhardt-Ceslerr said she understands that Zabriskie will not be able to pitch every game for the rest of the season, calling it “physically impossible.”

She also said that if needed, there is a chance that some other players may have to step in and throw some innings. Putting some of the misfortunes the Cyclones have endured behind them, the team realizes that this weekend is going to be an important one because of some of the goals they set for themselves early on in the season.

“[Winning this weekend] is very important because at the beginning of this year we set some realistic goals and one of them was to be in the top five in the Big 12 because there’s only 10 teams,” Jones said.

The Cyclones understand that the rest of the season will be challenging. With conference play getting under way, every game is seemingly a must win.

“It’s very important to win at this point in time,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “At the same time, we need to just keep getting better, keep working on things and keep trying. Right now we are banged up and it could go two different ways, you could be up for the challenge or not, and I think that they’re up for the challenge.”

Iowa State has 12 games remaining against teams who’ve received votes in the national poll.