Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State falls to No. 5 Huskies


DJ Jacobi

Iowa State outfielders (left to right) Skyler Ramos, Kali Gose, and Milaysia Ochoa wait at center field as the new pitcher warms up against the University of Oklahoma on March 28.

Anthony Hanson

In another pitcher’s duel on Sunday, Iowa State softball fell to No. 5 Washington 1-0. 

Iowa State finished the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with two wins and three losses and returns to Ames with a 10-4 season record. 

A late rally fails

Iowa State was knocking on the door late but couldn’t convert to grab what would have been a marquee victory for the Cyclones. 

In the bottom of the seventh, the winning run was on first base for Iowa State. After a single from Milaysia Ochoa, Alesia Ranches knocked a base hit into center field and Iowa State had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the seventh. 

Pinch hitting for Kaylee Pond, Natalie Wellet put the ball in play, but Ochoa would be tagged out at third for the second out. Then, Kasey Simpson struck out swinging to end the game. 

Facing the nation’s best 

Iowa State batters struck out nine times against a Washington’s Gabbie Plain. Plain pitched the entire seven innings for the Huskies. She allowed just four hits and walked zero Iowa State batters. 

Plain, a fifth-year senior, was the 2021 Pac-12 pitcher of the year. She was a First Team All-American last season, and so far in 2021, she has struck out 57 batters in nine game appearances. In 48.1 innings pitched, Plain has surrendered only nine runs. 

Washington’s only run came on a sacrifice fly in the third inning when Baylee Klingler scored Sarah Willis from third. Willis, who walked earlier in the inning, moved the third on an Iowa State throwing error. Washington’s only run of the game was unearned. 

Ellie Spelhaug with another gem

Junior Ellie Spelhaug provided Iowa State with another impressive performance in the circle. Pitching against the nation’s fifth ranked team, Spelhaug recorded six strikeouts and allowed one hit with no earned runs.

In 6.1 innings of work, Spelhaug kept the Cyclones in the game. 

While Spelhaug gets tagged with another loss, the junior is putting together a great 2022 season. Spelhaug threw 5.1 innings of exceptional softball Friday against No. 6 UCLA.

Spelhaug threw another six strikeouts in that outing against the Bruins. Over the weekend, Spelhaug recorded 18 strikeouts in four appearances. 

With 12 strikeouts against top-10 ranked programs, Ellie Spelhaug proved her status among the nation’s best hurlers. On Sunday, Spelhaug went head-to-head with an All-American pitcher. 

Iowa State will travel next to the Wildcat Classic in Tuscon, Ariz. The No. 16 Arizona Wildcats will be among another competitive field. Arizona, who also comes off the Mary Nutter Classic, is 10-4 on the 2022 season. Iowa State will also face Boise State, Loyola Chicago, North Dakota and Texas State.