‘She can’t beat me’: Ramos’ homer gives Cyclones the upset win over Baylor


Tyler Coe

Mikayla Ramos doubles in a pair of runs against Iowa on Apr. 26, 2023.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

AMES – Mikayla Ramos was not intimidated by No. 18 Baylor’s ace Dariana Orme.

The Iowa State senior launched her first home run since April 2 in Friday’s 4-2 victory over the Big 12 conference opponent. The Cyclones fell behind 1-0, but Ramos tied the game with one swing of the bat with a homer to left-center field in the bottom of the first.

“She had this intimidating look on her, and I was like I’m going to intimidate her more,” Ramos said. “I’m just going to go up there and be myself, and she can’t beat me.”

Ramos connected with the first pitch of her first at-bat as Iowa State softball completed the upset win over the No. 18 Bears.

Baylor responded with a run in the fifth inning, but Alesia Ranches gave Iowa State the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning. Natalie Wellet reached on a fielder’s choice and added an insurance run for Iowa State also in the sixth inning.

“It got us back,” Iowa State head coach Jamie Pinkerton said about the home run from Ramos. “She’s been a leader. That’s what she’s capable of doing.”

Orme entered the matchup with a 1.62 earned run average, leading the Bears’ bullpen. Ramos saw her offensive power return after a tough slate of games in the Big 12 conference clouded by injury concerns for the fifth-year senior.  

Ramos’ knee injury forced her to be sidelined in Iowa State’s third game against Oklahoma State. She has not taken her usual position behind the plate since that game.

Friday, Ramos wore a knee brace on her right knee but was comfortable, she said postgame.

In the win, Ramos finished one-for-one with one RBI. The Cyclone senior, who has been sidelined with a knee injury recently this season, started as a designated player for Iowa State. She holds the second-highest average on the Cyclones with a .297 batting average.

Ramos recorded double-digit home runs in both her junior and senior seasons. In her extra year of eligibility, the catcher and offensive specialist has five home runs. In 2021, Ramos had 13 home runs, and in 2022 she matched her total with 14.

Ramos started the 2023 season with three home runs in the non-conference schedule, but Friday Ramos homered for the first time since April 2 against Texas Tech. Her first-inning two-run blast against the Red Raiders was the senior’s last extra-base hit.

Baylor opened the top of the first with two singles and a walk to load the bases. Iowa State starting pitcher Ellie Spelhaug forced two ground balls to second baseman Kasey Simpson to limit the damage.

Another ground ball to shortstop Ranches ended the inning and the threat from the Bears. Iowa State came to bat down just one run, setting up the chance for Ramos to tie the game.

Spelhaug continued with three more innings of scoreless work in the circle. She allowed one run in the fifth and recorded the win.

“That home run really just brought the momentum back to us,” Spelhaug said. “I knew I was going to try and keep that rolling and we really did.”

Before Saya Swain entered for the seventh inning, Spelhaug tallied one strikeout and allowed eight hits.

Iowa State and Baylor will return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday. Iowa State is now one game behind Baylor, Kansas and Texas Tech in the Big 12 standings.