Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State losses to Texas Tech to even series


Tyler Coe

Milaysia Ochoa at the plate in game one against Oklahoma on Mar. 24, 2023.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Iowa State softball faced Texas Tech Saturday afternoon, and the Red Raiders evened the series with an 8-4 win over the Cyclones.

Iowa State recorded its first Big 12 conference win Friday in the series opener against Texas Tech. Saturday, the Cyclone continued their momentum in the opening frame, but the Red Raiders responded quickly.

The Red Raiders gained the lead in the bottom of the first and used three home runs to strengthen their advantage. Texas Tech finished ahead 8-4 and gained its first Big 12 win of the season.

Early two-out rally

Iowa State struggled offensively against Texas Tech’s Sage Hoover after its two-out rally in the first.

Two hits and two strikeouts set the stage for a big at-bat for Iowa State’s Kasey Simpson.

Mikayla Ramos and Angelina Allen each provided singles off the Texas Tech starting pitcher. Also in the first, Hoover struck out Milaysia Ochoa and Ashley Minor.

It was Simpson heading to the plate with two-on and two-out with a chance to help her team strike first. The Iowa State senior singled down the right-field line and brought Ramos in to score. Simpson’s two-out single continued a Cyclone rally.

Carli Spelhaug earned another two-out single to bring in two RBIs. Allen and Simpson scored, and Iowa State led by three before the end of the first.

Hoover caused Alesia Ranches to pop up to first base, then she settled in to shut down the Cyclones for three full innings, not allowing a single hit. After the first-inning rally, Hoover struck out six Cyclones in a row.

Hoover became the winning pitcher of the day and improved her record to 14-0.

Long balls galore

Iowa State allowed four runs on four swings of the bat Saturday. The long ball allowed Texas Tech to build its four-run lead.

Of the eight runs scored by the Red Raiders, four runs came off home runs.

Iowa State’s Ellie Spelhaug received the start but left after 1.1 innings pitched. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch in the first inning set up a three-RBI single for Riley Love that gave Texas Tech a one-run lead.

In the second inning, Karli Charles took over in the circle. Charles allowed a single and a home run as the Texas Tech lead extended to three.

Kailey Wyckoff was the first Red Raider to homer in the second. She was two-for-two after her first two at-bats. Both Ellie Bailey and Alanna Barraza had home runs with Charles in the circle for Iowa State.

Iowa State allowed six home runs against Oklahoma during its first series of Big 12 conference play. That mark was tied for a season-high for the Sooners.

For Iowa State, Ochoa added a long ball in the fifth inning. She drove Hoover’s pitch to the opposite field and over the wall in left field.

Rubber match

Iowa State will face Texas Tech again Sunday to decide the series. The Cyclones mounted a comeback Friday to gain their first Big 12 win. Saturday, the Red Raiders evened the series.

Iowa State lost three games to No. 1 Oklahoma, and Texas Tech lost three games to No. 8 Texas.

Sunday at noon both Texas Tech and Iowa State will have a chance to win a Big 12 series. Each team was swept in its first Big 12 series.