Strong batting and pitching led Cyclones to victories at UNI Dome Tournament


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State then-freshman catcher Mikayla Ramos bats during the Iowa State vs. South Dakota softball game held at the Cyclone Sports Complex on April 2, 2019. The Cyclones had three home run hits and defeated the Coyotes 9-1.

Presley Polvere

On President’s Day weekend the Iowa State softball team started its season at the Doc Halverson UNI Dome Tournament.

The team finished the tournament 5-0 and came out of the weekend undefeated.

This was the first time in 341 days the Cyclones played an opponent in shirts that didn’t read “Iowa State” on the front.

“It was pure excitement for the whole team to be out there and having a good time and playing people other than ourselves, I think we really enjoyed being out there together and competing again for the first time in a very long time,” sophomore Ellie Spelhaug said.

Spelhaug starting out strong

Spelhaug went 3-0 on pitching for the weekend. These wins came against South Dakota State, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Drake.

Looking forward to the season, Spelhaug has goals for improving her pitching techniques.

“I’d like to throw pitches exactly where I need them for specific counts and specific hitters. It’s good to know what hitters like and we’d be able to work around their bats to get ground balls and outs that way,” Spelhaug said.

Even though the team’s pitchers showed stable skills this weekend, there is still room for improvement.

“I thought our pitchers did a fantastic job facing outside competition rather than our own players but I think they would tell you that there are definitely some areas, like getting ahead in the count and trying to cut down on pitches in order to be more efficient,” Head Coach Jamie Pinkerton said.

Cyclones offense gets going

The Cyclone pitching efforts matched offensive efforts in the stats column.

Junior catcher Mikayla Ramos tacked on a home run, two runs batted in (RBIs) and a double on day two of the tournament. On day three versus Drake she snatched a base from the Bulldogs to help get the win, 10-1.

“I feel pretty good about the way I performed this weekend,” Ramos said. “In the past I struggled with allowing myself to be my own enemy and not allowing myself to improve as the weekend went on. I think I threw that out this weekend and I went in and trusted myself and my instincts and I think it worked out for me.”

Iowa State beat regional opponents

The Cyclone team represented Iowa State in the Midwest as they competed against five regional opponents.

“The excitement was being able to put the Iowa State uniform on and represent the university and the city of Ames in competition and play someone rather than ourselves,” Pinkerton said.

The team’s next opportunity for competition will be the weekend of Feb. 19 in Boca Raton, Florida, at the FAU “Strikeout Cancer” Tournament. 

“I think we adjusted pretty well, as well as to be expected,” Ramos said. “We were just ready to get on that field and play some softball and we were ready to break it open and start the season and get to regionals because that is the goal at the end of the year.”