Cyclone softball opens Big 12 season at home


Dalton Gackle/Iowa State Daily

Outfielder Kelsey McFarland at the plate for her first at-bat in a 17-0 Cyclone loss to Baylor.

Tara Larson

Five weeks into its season, the Iowa State softball team is playing in a new location: Ames.

The Cyclone softball team is set to play Texas Tech in its Big 12 home opener in three games held over three days, beginning Friday.

The Cyclones (15-16) will face the Red Raiders (13-14) at the Cyclone Sports Complex for the first time of the 2017 season.

In years past, Iowa State has held an indoor tournament in February known as the Cyclone Invitational. The Cyclones didn’t host the invitational this season. The team has been playing away games since Feb. 10, and some team members are itching to play their first home game.

“I’m definitely excited and I think the team’s mentality is right and ready to win,” junior outfielder Kelsey McFarland said. “I think Texas Tech should be a team we can beat, [but] I think it will be a battle for sure.”

The team spent spring break playing in back-to-back games and tournaments. The Cyclones traveled to three different cities to play 12 games over their week.

“I thought we had really good growing moments,” coach Jamie Trachsel said. “We came from behind in one game in the seventh inning from two runs down, had a couple of good holds in the seventh inning. When games were close, we hadn’t really been in those situations.”

Not only is this game the home opener, but it is also the first conference game of the season for the Cyclones.

“It’s come up quick, but I’m excited to get going and see how we do,” junior outfielder Kaila Konz said. “It’ll be a pretty competitive game, but I feel like we’re always like, ‘Go get it.’ And with it being the first conference game, I think everyone’s really excited to get out there.”

Texas Tech has a similar record to Iowa State’s 2017 record, and neither team has played a conference game so far this spring.

The two teams had the same result against their one common opponent, UCF. The Cyclones played UFC twice, with one win and one loss, and the Red Raiders faced them in one game, which they lost.

Regardless, Trachsel said she is excited for her players to compete at home.

“We’ve just got to trust what we know and trust our preparation,” Trachsel said. “Nothing really changes. We just have more time to prepare for one team.”