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Iowa State Daily

Cyclones drop three of four during road trip to Utah

Elizabeth Lane
Alesia Ranches rounds first base during the Iowa State vs. DePaul softball game at Cyclones Sports Complex, April 9, 2024.

After picking up a historic series win against then-No. 5 Oklahoma State at home, Iowa State traveled to Utah to take on BYU for a three-game series, then faced Utah Valley in a head-to-head matchup Sunday.

While the Cyclones did not pick up a win in Provo against the Cougars, they did not leave Utah winless, as Iowa State took down the Wolverines 4-2 Sunday.

Iowa State fails to match BYU’s offensive output

Coming into the series, the Cyclones had to prepare to match the Cougars’ explosive offense which had been one of the best in the Big 12.

Despite its best efforts, Iowa State could not stop BYU’s offense in each of its three games and dropped each game in the series.

In the first game, the Cyclones struggled to get anything going against BYU’s pitching, scoring one run on three hits and four walks. The run came on a solo home run by outfielder Milaysia Ochoa in the third inning that tied the game.

The home run did not prove to be enough for Iowa State, as the Cougars, led by second baseman Keila Kamoku’s two-homer day, took the first game Thursday.

However, in the second and third games in the series, the offense for the Cyclones found its stride. They scored a combined 12 runs on 22 hits.

In the second game specifically, Iowa State battled with the Cougars for nine innings and continuously went back and forth with BYU’s high-flying offense.

However, a tough ninth inning came for the Cyclones as the Cougars hit a pair of solo homers. A walk-off home run from BYU’s Maddie Bejarano sealed an 8-7 loss for the Cyclones on Friday.

Finally, in the third game, Iowa State outhit BYU nine to seven, but it ended up not being enough in its 8-5 loss to the Cougars on Saturday that sealed the sweep for BYU.

Third series sweep

As the final out was pitched Saturday against BYU, it sealed the fate for Iowa State that the Cyclones now suffered a third series sweep this season.

Before this series, the Cyclones previously had been swept to No. 2 Oklahoma and Kansas, but now added a series sweep to BYU to the tally.

In a highly talented conference, along with losing some key players from last season, Iowa State has had trouble finding its footing, and it has shown with its 17-25 record.

As the final two weeks of the regular season get underway, the Cyclones will be looking to finish off the season strong with a chance to upset No. 1 Texas in their upcoming three-game series.

Iowa State leaves Utah on a positive note

While things did not go the Cyclones’ way during their three-game series against the Cougars, they did not leave the state of Utah on a negative note. The Cyclones took down Utah Valley in Orem, Utah, 4-2 Sunday.

This is the second time that these two teams have faced off this season, as Iowa State opened up its season facing the Wolverines in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, where the Cyclones dominated their way to a 12-1 win in six innings.

But in Sunday’s game, Iowa State took quick advantage against a familiar foe and shut out Utah Valley through the first six innings of the game. Despite the offense not scoring as much as it did in their first clash, the Cyclones did enough to sweep the season series against the Wolverines on Sunday.

Right-handed pitcher Karlie Charles held it down against the Utah Valley offense. Charles pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits, two runs and one walk, while striking out two batters.

With the win against Utah Valley, Iowa State heads back to Ames, Iowa, on a positive note despite a less-than-ideal four-day stay in Utah.

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