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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State overcomes rough pitching start to win 12-7 over St. Thomas

Maeley Rosengren
Ashley Minor and the Iowa State team celebrates after she hits a home run at the Iowa State vs. St. Thomas game at the Cyclones Sports Complex, April 23, 2024.

AMES — Iowa State and St. Thomas went back and forth the whole game, but the Cyclones pulled away with a 12-7 win Tuesday night in Ames.

The Cyclones entered the day with a 17-25 record, following a 1-3 record during their road trip in Utah. St. Thomas, in its third season playing Division I, entered with a 14-31 record. The game Tuesday was the Cyclones’ and Tommies’ first-ever matchup against each other.

Angelina Allen and Carli Spelhaug led the way in terms of hits for the Cyclones with three each. Allen had one extra-base hit with a double in the first inning. Spelhaug had two extra-base hits, including a triple in the third inning and a double in the sixth, and was a home run away from the cycle.

Two Cyclones hit home runs Tuesday. Ashley Minor hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first, which kicked off the scoring for Iowa State. Camille Marin later hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth.

Early pitching struggles hurt the Cyclones

The Cyclones struggled in the pitcher’s circle early, deploying three different pitchers in three innings.

Iowa State starter Tatum Johnson entered the game with eight innings pitched on the year, and it will stay that way even with Tuesday’s start. Johnson walked the first two batters faced and got replaced by Karlie Charles without recording an out.

Charles pitched two innings and gave up five hits and four runs, including a three-run home run in the top of the second inning.

Lauren Schurman started the third inning with two strikeouts and a pop-out that ended the inning. Schurman pitched 2.1 innings, giving up two runs and four hits while also tallying four strikeouts.

The strong play of Jaiden Ralston overshadowed the slow pitching start for the Cyclones. Ralston finished the game for Iowa State, pitching 2.2 innings and allowing one hit while matching Schurman with four strikeouts.

Great day at the plate for Minor

After trailing 1-0 after the top of the first inning, the Cyclones responded big with a three-run home run from Minor. The three-run shot gave Minor her eighth home run on the season.

“I was watching scout to see that they leave a lot middle, and once we get that middle pitch, we take advantage of it,” Minor said about her three-run home run.

An inning later, Minor had the bases loaded with two outs and hit a single to center field, driving in the runners on second and third.

The five RBIs against St. Thomas is a career-high for Minor, and she needed two innings to do it. Minor finished the day going 2-for-4.

Spelhaug joins Ochoa in the 200-hit club

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Spelhaug singled to left field, which gave her the 200th hit of her career.

Spelhaug’s 200th hit makes her the sixth Cyclone to reach that milestone, joining current teammate Milaysia Ochoa in that elite group.

Another feat for Spelhaug was her three-hit day against St. Thomas. Spelhaug was a home run shy of the cycle and hopes to carry the momentum into the series against Texas.

“It’s always a good feeling getting a few hits in a game, and hopefully it boosts your confidence to get ready for a little bit tougher pitching,” Spelhaug said.

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