Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones lose slug-fest to BYU


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Anthony Hanson

Iowa State softball fell to BYU to cap a three-game series Saturday behind a huge slugging day from the Cougars.

BYU completed the sweep of the Cyclones after hitting six extra base hits in an offensive slug fest. Both teams managed double digit hit numbers in the nearly three-hour ballgame. BYU finished with 14 hits and Iowa State ended with 12. Iowa State fell to 19-13 on the 2022 season against the future Big 12 opponent.

“It is a program that’s very well established,” head coach Jamie Pinkerton said just before the series. “It gives us an opportunity.”

The opportunity to take down a softball powerhouse from the West Coast Conference evaded the Cyclones in the last series before Big 12 play. BYU has won the regular season West Coast Conference championship seven seasons in a row.

Seeking a bounce back

Pinkerton’s team was seeking a bounce back win after losing twice Friday afternoon. But after four innings of softball were complete, Iowa State needed to avoid a blowout after trailing 5-0.

BYU began the scoring with a three-run home run off Iowa State starting pitcher Karli Charles. It was BYU’s batting average leader Violet Zavodnik hitting her ninth home run of the 2022 season. 

Charles then allowed two singles to BYU hitters. Then, without recording an out, Ellie Spelhaug replaced Charles in the circle. 

Iowa State rallied in the fifth inning through three doubles from Mikayla Ramos, Alescia Ranches and Sarah Tyree. The extra base hits drove in five runs for the Cyclones. Then, a passed ball brought home Mikayla Ramos. The Cyclones took their first lead of the day 6-5. 

BYU, however, had an answer in the bottom of the inning. The Cougars put together a four-run rally in the fifth and retook the lead. BYU would hold on to secure the win 11-7. 

A slug fest 

The team’s combined for 26 hits and 10 extra base hits. 

Zavodnik of BYU followed up her first inning home run with another in the bottom of the third. BYU first-basemen Hutyr Ava recorded another home run for the Cougars in the bottom of the sixth. In addition, BYU hitters added three doubles to the total of extra base hits. The Iowa State staff could not contain the BYU pop on its home ball diamond. 

With BYU ace Chloe Temples in the circle, the Iowa State hitters mostly kept pace with 12 hits of their own. 

Temples has an ERA of 1.59 in 14 appearances so far in 2022. She’s the strikeout leader for BYU in fewer innings pitched than the staff leader. Temples was in the circle for Saturday’s entire game, aside from a brief stretch in the fifth inning. 

Iowa State handed Temples her most hits allowed in her 2022 campaign. Temples was responsible for 10 of Iowa State’s hits, two higher than her previous highest of 8. 

Big 12 play looming

Next, Iowa State takes on Texas in Austin for another three-game series. The Cyclones will again be spending time on the road in search of quality wins. Texas is a top-25 team that will certainly be among the favorites to win the Big 12 conference. 

Iowa State did not beat the Longhorns in four chances last season. Texas will be the first opponent in the gauntlet of conference head-to-head matchups for Iowa State. 

“We need some quality wins from here on out,” Pinkerton said before facing BYU. “And I think Big 12 play will help us do that.”