Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State splits doubleheader against South Dakota State


Tyler Coe

Angelina Allen celebrates a run against Iowa on April 26, 2022.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

AMES—Iowa State softball split a doubleheader Tuesday against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

An Iowa State comeback fell short in game one after eight runners were left on base. South Dakota State, the leaders in the Summit League, extended its six-game winning streak to seven by a score of 4-3.

The Cyclones then found an offensive spark in game two. Iowa State jumped out to a three-run lead and won the second game 8-1. 

Offensive spark 

Iowa State head coach Jamie Pinkerton knows Iowa State is a better hitting team than its .228 batting average. 

The Iowa State offense has been quiet at Cyclone Sports Complex this season, but based on the last three years of Iowa State softball, the head coach knows his lineup is capable. 

The Cyclones faced two of the nation’s top teams to start the home season. Against No. 9 Texas and No. 1 Oklahoma Iowa State scored five runs in six games. The Big 12 conference giants came to Cyclone Sports Complex and shut out the Cyclones three times.

In Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cyclones recorded 14 hits and 12 runs. The eight runs in game two helped end the South Dakota State winning streak and were the most scored by Iowa State since March 10 against Niagara. Iowa State hitters Angelina Allen and Milaysia Ochoa hit the second, third and fourth home runs of the season for Iowa State at Cyclone Sports Complex. 

“That was Cyclone softball,” Pinkerton said postgame. “That’s the way we’ve looked the last three years.”

Ochoa recorded four extra base hits in Tuesday’s pair of games. The lead-off hitter entered the game as the Iowa State leader in slugging percentage at .535. In seven at-bats Tuesday, she slugged for two doubles and two home runs.

Ochoa also extended her clubhouse lead in the home run column with two home runs in game two. In three straight at bats Ochoa hit an extra base hit and scored a run. 

Ochoa has now passed her previous single-season high with eight home runs. Ochoa, a native of Chino, California, had seven home runs during her freshman season in 2021.

“We were able to put some barrels on some balls when we needed to,” Ochoa said. 

Allen recorded her third home run of the season during the first inning of game one Tuesday. Allen had four home runs during her freshman season in 2022. 

Mikayla Ramos had a productive pair of games Tuesday and continued to make her presence felt in the Iowa State record books. Ramos was two-for-four in game one, and in game two, she drove in her 149th career RBI.

Her fifth inning single scored Ochoa for the fourth-Iowa State run. Ramos is now tied for second on the Iowa State all-time career RBI list.

Cyclones stranded in game one

Iowa State left eight runners on base in game one, including four in scoring position.

Throughout game one, the Cyclones managed to find their way onto the basepaths. The Iowa State offense, however, did not bring in any runs after the first inning.

Ochoa led off the doubleheader with a double to left center field. Ochoa’s extra-base hit came after the Jackrabbits capitalized off three walks by Cyclone starting pitcher Jaiden Ralston.

South Dakota State recorded three runs after a single from Lindsey Culver with the bases loaded. Culver earned two RBIs while another came across the plate due to an Iowa State error.

Karlie Charles entered to replace Ralston in the circle before the Cyclones recorded an out. Charles did strike out the side in the first inning but not before the Jackrabbits gained the three-run lead.

After the first inning scoring by both teams, a Cyclone hitter reached base in each inning. No Cyclone runs came across until a seventh-inning comeback nearly put the Cyclones in the lead.

In the seventh, two walks and a hit loaded the bases for Iowa State. Ochoa scored for Iowa State after a wild pitch, but with two runners still on base, the Cyclone execution failed.

Iowa State attempted a suicide squeeze with the pinch runner Lea Nelson on third base. Kasey Simpson’s bunt attempt failed, and Nelson was caught between third and home in a rundown. Nelson was called out and Simpson’s ground out ended game one with South Dakota State in front.

Tiana Poole has a day

Iowa State freshman Tiana Poole filled her box score and contributed to Iowa State’s offensive production Tuesday. 

In game one, Poole was one-for-two and reached base three times. 

In game two, Poole recorded another hit in three at bats and added an RBI to her box score. 

Poole also made plays in the field. The right fielder made a nine-to-three put out in the third inning of game two.

Iowa State will face another Big 12 conference leader next. The Cyclones will travel to No. 3 Oklahoma State for a three-game series starting Friday.