Iowa State softball looks for first Big 12 win


Mikayla Ramos frames the pitch in game one against Oklahoma on Mar. 24, 2023.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Iowa State softball will travel to Lubbock, Texas, Friday in search of its first Big 12 conference win against Texas Tech.

The Cyclones have an 11-17 record and most recently lost to No. 1 Oklahoma in a series sweep. Iowa State lost four consecutive games entering its matchup with the 26-11 Red Raiders.

Texas Tech, however, is also 0-3 in conference play. The Red Raiders lost three games to No. 8 Texas on the road in their last series. Two games were decided by one run in the matchup of in-state rivals.

In both series against the Big 12’s best, Texas Tech and Iowa State showed signs of positive play. Texas Tech’s Ellie Bailey batted .462 with a double and two home runs during the series against the Longhorns.

Bailey was an NFCA All-Region second teamer last season. She recorded 11 games with multiple hits, including a 2-for-4 matchup with four RBIs against Iowa State.

Bailey leads an explosive Texas Tech lineup in home runs so far in 2023. The Red Raiders are strikingly close to a program record in home runs as a team this year. Entering the matchup with Iowa State, Texas Tech is seven home runs away from breaking the school’s single-season record.

Bailey leads the Red Raider lineup with 12. The Texas Tech senior homered three times in her junior season.

The Cyclones also enter this weekend’s matchup after a weekend of bad results. Iowa State was swept by Oklahoma but was able to hold the No. 1 Sooners below their season scoring average in the first game. In Friday’s home opener, the Cyclones lost 3-0. The Sooners average nine runs per game in their 27-1 season.

Even in the shutout, starting catcher Mikayla Ramos said the offense didn’t feel limited.

“I think we were there by this much,” Ramos said. “We had some hard outs.”

Ramos was retired by Oklahoma outfielders twice in the Big 12 opener. The next day, the Cyclone offense forced two earned runs off Oklahoma starting pitcher Nicole May. 

May entered the series tied for first in the nation in earned run average. May’s two earned runs while facing Iowa State in the first inning of the second game were more than she allowed all season.

Ramos leads all eligible Iowa State hitters with a .266 batting average. During her trip to Lubbock, Texas, Ramos will look to move higher on the all-time list for Iowa State offensive production. Her 145 career RBIs are currently third on Iowa State’s all-time list. Ramos needs 182 RBIs before the end of her senior campaign to catch former teammate Sami Williams in first.

The series between Iowa State and Texas Tech will begin at 6 p.m. Friday. Games two and three will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday and at 4 p.m. Sunday. All games can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.