Three Big Takeaways: Softball drops a pair of close games


The Cyclones meet at the mound following a Texas homer April 10, 2021 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Iowa State lost 11-5 to the Longhorns.

Anthony Hanson

Iowa State softball dropped the first two games of the Wildcat Classic Friday night.

In back-to-back games, Iowa State lost to Arizona 11-3 and Boise State 5-3. Heading into Friday’s matchup, Arizona was ranked ninth in the nation and the Broncos were 14-2.

The Cyclones are now on a four-game losing skid.

Facing the ace

Against the Broncos, Iowa State’s batters saw a complete game from Boise State pitcher Hannah Bailey. The fifth-year senior gave up just two earned runs and struck out eight Cyclone hitters during the Friday night contest.

Bailey is Boise State’s leader in innings pitched and appearances so far in 2022. She’s picked up six wins already this season and has the lowest opponent batting average of any member of the Bronco staff. She was an All-Mountain West second teamer in 2021.

Facing Bailey marks a trend for Iowa State in 2022: facing the other team’s ace.

“We take it as a compliment, as a privilege,” Ramos said shortly before Friday’s matchup. “Our challenge to ourselves is take her out as fast as we can.”

Against the Wildcats, Iowa State batters saw sophomore Devyn Netz. Netz entered the battle with a 1.50 earned run average and 20 strikeouts in her eight appearances in 2022.

It was the second pitcher Iowa State would face Friday night, and the second ace.

“People know we’re not to be taken lightly, so they’re going to pitch their ace,” Iowa State first basemen Angelina Allen said. “We take it as a compliment and roll with it.”

Allen opened the scoring against the Wildcats with a solo home run in the first inning. She followed it up with another RBI single in the third. On the day, Allen was 3-5 hitting with two RBI. Allen has the second-best average on the team of .356.

Overall, Iowa State batters had eight hits in the two games Friday evening.

Crunch time hitting

Iowa State and Boise State were tied 2-2 heading into the fourth inning.

Kaylee Pond cracked an RBI double in the second to score the first run of the game.

Boise State had a big fourth inning as two base hits and a sacrifice fly brought in three runs. With the Cyclones down 5-2, Carli Spelhaug homered off Bailey to start the fifth inning. The homer, however, didn’t spark the rally the Cyclones needed. Boise State’s Bailey proceeded to retire nine batters in a row.

Iowa State struck out four times in the last three innings with the game within striking distance.

Four game skid

The two losses on Friday mark the third and fourth losses in a row for Iowa State and it sits at 10-6 after four weekends of tournament softball.

Iowa State has lost three straight games against teams in the top-10 nationally. The loss to Loyola Marymount is the only one of the streak that disappointed the team, head coach Jamie Pinkerton said.

“The LMU game was really the only game I think that the women were disappointed,” Pinkerton said before headed to Arizona.

Loyola is 10-8 and the Cyclones lost by three runs a week ago in California.

Iowa State will have an opportunity to break the skid after a quick turnaround Saturday. After finishing against Arizona late Friday night, Iowa State plays North Dakota at 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Its Iowa State only game of the day at the Wildcat Classic.