Cyclones end one streak, start another


Dalton Gackle/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore outfielder Kelsey McFarland at the plate for her first at bat in a 17-0 Cyclone loss to the Baylor Lady Bears.

Sean Sears

The last two weeks of softball have been a constantly trying period for the ISU softball team, where the Cyclones could not seem to break through and win a game. 

The team had lost 10 straight games before Tuesday, and it had been feeling the frustration.

Their bats would go missing, the pitching would be elite for four innings and sudden implode in the fifth, and the defense would fail to execute routine plays. 

It was a mess, and everyone in the Cyclones locker room knew it. The team had to collectively play better.

And finally, Iowa State executed that plan Tuesday. 

In the doubleheader sweep of South Dakota, the Cyclones scored a combined 18 runs — the same amount they had scored in their previous five games.

Along with the great bats, Iowa State’s defensive effort was one of the best of the season, committing only one error the entire day, while also making spectacular grabs and throws all across the diamond. 

The pitching was dicey in the fifth inning of game one, when Mandi Moore gave up a grand slam, allowing South Dakota to take a 5-2 lead.

Beyond that miscue, both pitchers Emma Hylen and Savannah Sanders were stellar, specifically Hylen, who went all seven innings only allowing two runs in the second game. 

It was the Cyclones’ complete effort in all phases of the game that finally ended their 10-game skid and allowed the sweep of the Coyotes. 

“That’s what we thought we should’ve been doing the whole time, so it’s nice to finally put it all together,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler.

Iowa State’s offense was kicked-started by infielder Brittany Gomez, who was drafted by Pennsylvania Rebellion of the National Pro Fastpitch leage last Thursday, and center fielder Kelsey McFarland. 

The two combined to drive in 13 of the team’s 18 runs Tuesday, with McFarland crushing two home runs in the second part of the doubleheader. 

Along with tying her single game career high in RBI’s with four, Gomez also hit her 279th career hit today, moving her into fifth all-time in hits in the Big 12. 

“It was pretty cool,” Gomez said. “I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully we’ll more games.”

McFarland also had a career day at the plate. Not only was Tuesday her first career multi-home run game, but the sophomore also set a new career best in RBI’s with five on the day. 

“Today felt good, but it’s all about the team,” McFarland said, “As a team, we came together and pushed through.” 

But as important as it was for Gomez and McFarland to come through big offensively this afternoon, the Cyclones being able to come back in the first game to win 10-7 might be a big point in the season. 

After the team had given up five runs in the top of the fifth, the team batted around in the bottom half of the inning and scored six runs to take back the lead. 

The Cyclones would not trail again the rest of the day, responding each time South Dakota scored runs. 

“It just kinda finally happened,” Gomez said about the team’s bats. “Things finally started clicking.”