SOFTBALL: Team travels to Texas for Sleep Inn Classic

Michael Zogg

Four Cyclones will have a homecoming this weekend as the team travels to Texas this weekend for the Sleep Inn Classic. Iowa State (9-1) has three players from Austin (sophomores Rachel Zabriskie, Carrie Monroe, and senior Jacquelyn Beatty) and one from Flower Mound (freshman Lauren Kennewell), making Texas the leading feeder for the Iowa State softball team outside of Iowa.

So even though the Cyclones will be far from Ames, several of the players will feel right at home.

Beatty expects to see her parents, her brother, her aunt and uncle from Dallas, and at least one friend from summer ball all at the tournament.

“I think I play better, to be honest with you, because I know my dad is going to be hard on me,” Beatty said. “He has action shots. He’s like, ‘Oh, that was horrible.’ So I think I play better.”

The team will need the Texas natives, along with the rest of the players, to be on top of their game this weekend as the Cyclones will be facing what they feel is the toughest competition of the season thus far.

Although the competition will be improved, the only team at the tournament above .500 other then Iowa State will be North Texas (4-3). The Cyclones will also face Missouri State (2-3), Central Arkansas (6-6), Wichita State (3-5), and Butler (0-0).

“We still have to go out there not knowing that we are better than them,” Beatty said. “We still have to play our game and if we beat them bad, we beat them bad, but we can’t underestimate them whatsoever.”

But junior pitcher Charissa Carlin said she doesn’t put too much stock in records, especially this early in the season. Instead, she judges them based on personal experience in the past.

“We played Wichita [State] Last year. We went 1-1 with them so they have always been pretty good competition with us,” Carlin said. “Their pitchers are pretty decent, their hitters are pretty good.”

The main thing the team stressed that it will need to do to be successful against this improved competition is to improve on previous weeks.

The main weakness the Cyclones have found, especially last weekend, was their inability to get runners on base and score runs early in games. Head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler sees this as an easy fix, however.

“Being more aggressive… Any time the count is in your favor, you’re attacking,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.