Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State suffers loss to No. 3 Oklahoma State


Tyler Coe

Tiana Poole tracks down a fly-ball in right field in game one against Oklahoma on Mar. 24, 2023.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Iowa State fell to No. 3 Oklahoma State in a Big 12 series opener Friday. 

The Cyclones traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma to face their third top-ten-ranked team since March 24 and the fourth of the season. 

Iowa State jumped out to a one-run lead until the Cowgirls opened up the scoring in the fourth inning. Oklahoma State hit two home runs off the Iowa State pitching staff and won by a final score of 5-2. 

‘Force them into some mistakes’

Iowa State jumped out to a first-inning lead after capitalizing off an Oklahoma State mistake. 

Mikayla Ramos reached base on a single in the top of the first from her spot at second in the Cyclone batting order. Ramos advanced to second on an Oklahoma State throwing error, then scored on a two-out single from Kasey Simpson. 

The defensive mistake from the Cowgirls came at an opportune time for Iowa State. The Cyclones were able to strike first and execute a key component of their game plan. 

“We need to be clean,” Pinkerton said after Tuesday’s midweek doubleheader against South Dakota State. “We’ve got to be near perfect and force them into some mistakes.”

Facing the nationally ranked Cowgirls, Iowa State got the mistake it was looking for. But after the first-inning miscue., the Oklahoma State defense and pitching staff settled in.

Cyclones against Maxwell

Oklahoma State starting pitcher Kelly Maxwell worked a complete game in the circle. Maxwell, who received her first loss of the season last year against Iowa State in Ames, allowed six hits, one earned run and recorded 11 strikeouts. 

Maxwell and the Cowgirl defense retired six straight batters in the third and fourth innings, including four consecutive strikeouts in the heart of the Iowa State order. Iowa State hitters Tiana Poole, Angelita Fuentes and Carli Spelhaug struck twice against the Oklahoma State ace.

Iowa State ended a five-inning scoring drought with a pair of extra-base hits in the top of the seventh inning. Spelhuag led off the inning with a double and two batters later, shortstop Alesia Ranches knocked Spelhaug home with a double to right center. Ranches was the only Cyclone to have multiple hits against Maxwell. 

Cowgirls score late

Iowa State’s freshman starting pitcher Jaiden Ralston limited the Oklahoma State lineup to no runs in the first three innings. Ralston allowed only one baserunner before the fourth inning when Katelynn Carwile doubled to left center. 

But Ralston allowed the Oklahoma State lineup to gain a spark to start the fourth inning. Chyenne Factor came to the plate in the leadoff spot and launched a home run to left center field. 

Ralston recorded an out in her next batter faced but walked the next Cowgirl in four pitches. Ralston called a timeout and called her pitching coach from the dugout during the at-bat. Carwile came to the plate next and recorded her second double of the game. This time, Carwile recorded an RBI and allowed Oklahoma State to take the lead. 

Karlie Charles entered the game to finish the fourth inning for Iowa State. Charles allowed a two-run home run to Rachel Becker in the fifth and Tallen Edwards recorded an RBI single in the sixth. 

Iowa State will face Oklahoma State in game two of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday.