Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones blowout Trojans in fall game


Joseph Dicklin

Cyclone shortstop makes a defensive play against Des Moines Area Community College on Sept. 21.

Iowa State defeated Northern Iowa Area Community College in their third game of the fall season. 

It was a dominant performance for the Cyclones, winning 16-0 and controlling the game from the first inning.

Valuable experience

One of fall softball’s purposes is to give young players and backups an opportunity to gain valuable real-game experience and show what they can do.

For the Cyclones, there was a clear emphasis on getting everyone as many reps as possible. They used five different pitchers throughout the game and rotated out the starting lineup early.

Returning pitchers Karlie Charles and Saya Swain each only pitched two innings before head coach Jamie Pinkerton put in freshman pitcher Tatum Johnson. When Johnson hit her pitch count in the middle of the 6th, she was replaced by Janessa Jasso. After the 8th, Jasso was replaced by Ellie Spelhaug who finished out the game.

The backups and young players provided great production for the Cyclones and made big plays. Despite the Trojans getting the bases loaded, Tatum was able to hold her own and keep them scoreless. 

Freshman infielder McKenna Andrews made two big plays in the 8th inning. Both times she fielded a ground ball and made an impressive throw to first to get the out. 

Seniors are important to this team

The roster saw very little turnover from last season as many of the seniors decided to use their COVID-19 year of eligibility to return to the team. Combined with last year’s juniors, this team has a strong veteran presence.

The value of the experienced players was on display Wednesday night as the Cyclones got big plays from players like Kasey Simpson.

In the four-and-a-half innings they pitched, Jasso and Spelhaug, both seniors, combined for 10 strikeouts with Spelhaug not allowing a single hit. 

Mikayla Ramos, one of last year’s most valuable players, also returned for her extra year, providing the Cyclones with a great bat in the middle of the lineup.

The Cyclones can still score

Under head coach Pinkerton, the Cyclones have become a team that scores a lot, breaking the school record for home runs three times.

If this game is any indication, this year’s team will be similar. In the 4th and 5th innings alone, the Cyclones racked up nine combined runs. 

While they did benefit from a high number of errors from the Trojans, the Cyclones were nevertheless hitting the ball well all night. They got a number of fly balls to drop right in front of the outfielders and plenty of ground balls that split right between defenders.

This year’s Iowa State softball squad looks like it will be a team that is fun to watch and should be competitive.

The next game for the Cyclones will be at home against Indian Hills Community College on Sunday.