Iowa State softball aims to continue season turnaround


Iowa State softball infielders meet in the circle with starting pitcher Saya Swain during the Cyclones’ 11–1 loss April 10.

Iowa State softball will face Colorado State at home for a four-game series with a chance to extend a three-game win streak.

The Cyclones picked up two wins against Southeast Missouri State Tuesday and hold a three-game win streak for the first time since March 11. The Rams enter the matchup with a 21-15 overall record and are 7-8 in Mountain West Conference play.

Iowa State is looking to extend its late-season turnaround. Head coach Jamie Pinkerton’s team is nine games under .500 but riding high after an upset win against No. 3 Oklahoma State.

“We played well all weekend,” Pinkerton said.

Iowa State held a lead in all three games against the Cowgirls but lost the first two against the Big 12 Conference opponent. Pinkerton said the upset against a top-five opponent provided a morale boost for a Cyclone team that has seen peaks and valleys.

“We really needed that,” said Iowa State shortstop Alesia Ranches about the momentum-changing win against Oklahoma State. “That win gave us clarity.”

The win over Oklahoma State tied a program record for the highest-ranked win for Iowa State.

Iowa State followed up its big win with two convincing wins over SEMO in a midweek doubleheader. The Iowa State offense surged for 12 hits in the first game, and the Iowa State defense provided shutouts in both games.

Cyclone hitters finished game one with a total batting average of .571. On the season, Iowa State is batting .232.

Ranches had three hits, including one double, and scored three runs during Tuesday’s doubleheader. Her teammate Camille Marin was two-for-three with back-to-back RBI doubles.

Iowa State has grinded its way through a Big 12 schedule that has included matchups against three top-10 teams, Pinkerton said. Iowa State has now faced No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 9 Texas and No. 3 Oklahoma State.

“They [the Cyclones] have never gotten to the point where you think they’ve given up,” Pinkerton said.

One of Iowa State’s leading hitters, Mikayla Ramos, was withheld from Tuesday’s doubleheader due to an injury. Ramos is second on the team with a .302 batting average. Her 150 career RBIs are tied for second on the Iowa State all-time list.

In game one Tuesday, Marin received the start at catcher and Ramos was the designated hitter for Iowa State. After a hit-by-pitch, walk and a strikeout, Ramos was pulled from the game. Sophie Maras entered to pinch hit in the fourth inning.

In game two, Ramos was absent from the lineup. The senior was also unavailable for Iowa State’s win over Oklahoma State.

“We trust anybody really to get the job done,” Pinkerton said. “It was good to get some people some [at-bats].”

Makaylin Powers, Olivia Wardlow and Lea Nelson also earned pinch-hit at-bats in Tuesday’s doubleheader. Kali Gose received her third start of the year against the Redhawks.

Iowa State and Colorado State will start the four-game set at 1 p.m. Friday at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

The second game will follow at 3:30 p.m. or 30 minutes after game one concludes. The Saturday matchups will start at noon and 2:30 p.m.

“We’re still trying to climb to .500,” Pinkerton said. “These last three games have been a good step in that direction.”