Hard work pays off for Lindsey, ISU

Mark Pawlak

The hard work and hunger of Julia Lindsey is one of the reasons behind the improvement of the ISU softball team.

With the help of Lindsey, a sophomore from Castle Rock, Wash., the Cyclones stand at 13-10 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12.

Last spring, Iowa State finished 14-27 and 2-12 in the conference.

“I think we have a lot more fire to play. We’re excited to go out there,” Lindsey said of the Cyclones’ improved play this season. “Our hitting has improved and our pitching is better.”

With a year of experience under her belt, Lindsey has improved, too.

After playing in all 41 games and batting .243 to earn Iowa States best newcomer and Golden Glove awards in 2001, the middle infielder has become a fixture at the top of the Cyclone batting order.

Lindsey is first on the team in hits with 24 and triples with three, tied for second in doubles (4) and ranks third in batting average (.333), runs scored (12) and runs- batted-in (nine).

Her improved play is a product of hard work.

“I spent a lot of time at the rec hitting to get better,” Lindsey said. “I was going in earlier and staying later.”

It is that work ethic that has drawn the attention of ISU head coach Ruth Crowe.

“For a sophomore, she plays with a lot of composure. She hit over .300 last year in the Big 12,” Crowe said.”She is really hungry and wants to be a great player in the Big 12. She works really, really hard.”

Teaming with Adi Blackmon and sluggers Erica Martinez and Lindsey Herrin to give the Cyclones a potent top of the batting order, the ISU offense is scoring 4.13 runs per game on the season, compared to only 2.85 last year.

“As the leadoff hitter, it sets the tone; if I get on base, hitting is contagious,” Lindsey said. “It just gets us off to a good start.”

In Big 12 play, Lindsey started off hot in the opening series against Texas Tech going five for eight with a double, triple and three RBIs.

She followed that up with a two-hit performance against Missouri in the second game of the Cyclones’ doubleheader sweep.

If the weather cooperates, Iowa State will travel to Des Moines Wednesday to face Drake at 4 p.m.

The Cyclones downed the Bulldogs earlier this season, 3-2 on Mar. 21 in Ames, without Lindsey in the lineup.

“She is someone that we have to have in the lineup all the time,” Crowe said.

The team returns to conference play on Saturday and Sunday as they host ninth-ranked Oklahoma.

“I’m excited to play Oklahoma. Last year, we didn’t do too well against them,” Lindsey said. “Now, we are a completely different team. We should give them a game.”