Takeaways: An early end to Cyclone softball but a lot to look forward to

Members of the Iowa State softball team huddle up before the start of the Iowa State vs. University of South Dakota softball game April 2, 2019, at the Cyclone Sports Complex. The Cyclones had three home run hits and defeated the Coyotes 9-1.

Ellie Bousson

The spring season for Iowa State softball was cut short due to COVID-19, ending the season with a record of 11-13. 

The Cyclones started the season strong, with leadership from dominant players in Sami Williams, Logan Schaben and Hannah Carter. The Cyclones also gained a handful of freshmen for the spring season.

Highlights and hardships

During the Paradise Classic, the Cyclones secured their first win against Northern Colorado, shutting out the Bears 11-0.

Schaben showed out with two home runs and surpassed her record to five career RBIs. In her first collegiate start on the mound, freshman Ellie Spelhaug held the Bears to only one hit in the whole game. 

Later on in the Paradise Classic, the Cyclones extended the lead 8-4 against the University of Hawaii when Williams smashed a three-run home run over the center of right field. Then, again in the second game against Hawaii, Williams hit another home run, bringing in Bryn Hanrahan and Schaben. 

After winning five games in a row, the Cyclones followed with four losses. During a battle against Central Florida, the Cyclones made two mistakes in the fifth inning, resulting in Iowa State giving up runs and opportunities to close out. 

Although the Knights slipped away in the top of the ninth inning, freshman Karlie Charles pitched 7.2 innings without allowing any runs earned. 

At the Gamecock Invitational, Iowa State swept Elon University 10-0 and ended the game in five innings. Due to outstanding leadership and determination, the Cyclones scored five runs in the second inning. 

To finish the game against Elon, Janessa Jasso fought hard to keep the offense out. In the top of the fourth, Jasso, with a player on third, was able to strike out the next two batters.

Jasso pitched seven innings, allowing only one hit and securing five strikeouts. 

In the dual against Wisconsin at the USF tournament, the Cyclones gained opportunities to make plays but did not always execute them to the fullest. 

After a bomb from Williams, Schaben and freshman Alesia Ranches both proceeded to get on base, but neither were brought in to score. 

Later on, Williams came back with another home run to inch her team closer to the Badgers, as they were up 6-1 going into the fourth inning.

The Cyclones came close to catching the Badgers but were unable to as Wisconsin defeated the Cyclones in game one, 7-6.

Big moments

At the Paradise Classic in Honolulu, Ranches, who is native to Hawaii, launched her first home run of her collegiate season. 

In the second game of the Gamecock Invitational, Iowa State went head-to-head with No. 8 Michigan. The Cyclones took the win, beating the Wolverines 5-1. 

To no surprise, Williams stuck her name into Iowa State history again, breaking the program’s home run record of 43. Williams also ended the game with six RBIs, two home runs, a triple and a double. 

The freshmen stood out against Michigan as well, as Carli Spelhaug stole the lead, bringing in two runners on a single to left field. 

In a crunch with bases loaded, Ellie Spelhaug and the defense were able to keep the Wolverines out. Ellie Spelhaug pitched all seven innings, and she gave up one run and seven hits. 

During the I-75 Challenge in Georgia, the Cyclones faced Georgia Tech in game two. Seniors Schaben and Williams created momentum for the Cyclones. 

In the first inning, Williams bombed a home run over center field, giving the Cyclones a 1-0 lead. Schaben then mirrored Williams, smashing a home run to right field. 

Jasso held her ground against the Yellow Jackets, with no runs in five innings. With bases loaded, Jasso took advantage of stopping any chance they had to score again.