Softball continues spring break road trip


Courtesy of Collin Maguire at Iowa State Daily

Iowa State softball coaches Courtney Herron-Martinez and Kate Sinnott have been promoted to associate head coach.

Anthony Hanson

Iowa State softball will remain in California for another weekend tournament Thursday through Saturday at the Mizuno Classic.

Come Saturday, Iowa State will have played ten consecutive games without returning to Ames.

The Mizuno Classic is the last weekend tournament for Iowa State before the season format will change to head-to-head matchups with conference opponents.

Mid-major softball programs make up the field at the Mizuno Classic. The Cyclones will play Marist, from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Pacific and Santa Clara, from the West Coast Conference and Sacramento State from the Big Sky. Iowa State is the only member of the field from a high-major conference.

The Cyclones (15-9) are also the only team with an above .500 record. Sacramento State (12-12) has the strongest record of any team in the field other than Iowa State. Iowa State head coach Jamie Pinkerton, who coached four seasons at Montana before Iowa State, is familiar with Sacramento State competing in the Big Sky Conference.

At the Louisville Slugger Invitational on Sunday, Iowa State lost to Sacramento State 3-2. In the game, Iowa State pitchers allowed zero earned runs and Iowa State’s tying run was tagged out in a rundown between third base and home in the seventh inning.

The Cyclones left two runners on base in the final inning.

After Iowa State outperformed the Hornets offensively seven hits to two and came less than 90 feet away from extending the game, Pinkerton’s team will likely be embracing a rematch.

The Louisville Slugger Invite, for the Cyclones, marked the first winning weekend in multiple road trips. Before the games in Southern California, Iowa State had lost six of its last ten games. The Cyclones’ wins over Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and Boston created a 3-2 record on the first half of the road trip.

The win against Iowa State was the only win Sacramento State recorded while in Southern California for the Louisville Slugger Invite. The Hornets will play two games against North Dakota before facing Iowa State on Friday at approximately 6:45 p.m.

For the Cyclones, the rematch with Sacramento State will the second game of a double header on Friday. Iowa State faces Pacific (7-17) Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. The West Coast Conference opponent will also finish Thursday’s double header for Iowa State. Pinkerton’s team plays the Tigers Thursday evening at 6:15 p.m.

Marist (9-12) and Santa Clara (12-17) round out the games for Iowa State from Stockton, Calif., Marist on Thursday at 4 p.m. and Santa Clara for the final matchup of the weekend on Saturday at 2:15 p.m.