ISU Softball stays confident returning home against NDSU


Outfielder Cathlin Bingham slaps the ball and lets go of her bat as she runs to first base on May 3, 2015.

Curran Mclaughlin

Wednesday saw a dreary mix of cold and drizzle soaking campus and canceling the ISU softball team’s first home game since February. 

But Iowa State isn’t letting the weather put a damper on its spirit.

The Cyclones will head into better conditions for their first “true” home opener Saturday as they prepare to play a doubleheader against North Dakota State (17-11, 0-0 Summit League) at 12 p.m. at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

The Cyclones will be returning from a five-week road schedule with an 8-11 record, with nine of those losses coming in the last three weeks.

But the Cyclones aren’t as worried about what their record says about them as a team. They’re confident they can play with the best.

“Even though we are right in the grind of the season, [we’re] not getting frustrated by things that are not going your way. [We just have to] keep at it,” said coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler, who points out that many of those losses were decided in the last few innings. 

Playing against teams with good records builds confidence for a young squad, something that will be critical moving forward into conference play.

“I think just knowing that we are good and playing like we are good instead of going into games thinking, ‘Oh, I just don’t want to lose,’” said senior Brittany Gomez. 

Gomez is one of three seniors on the squad, which, by default, puts her in one of the leadership roles on the team.

But Gomez isn’t a vocal leader. she chooses to lead by example — letting her work ethic in practice and on the field speak for herself.

Instead, junior Cathlin Bingham is one of the more vocal leaders on the team. In tough situations, Bingham is the one to fire up the team.

Bingham said confidence can be contagious and she tries to help her teammates catch that positivity.

“[I like to] talk to people individually,” said Bingham, who is known to come into the defensive huddles and encourage the team. “[I’ll] tell them, ‘you got this’ and try to give people confidence and make them feel comfortable with whatever they’re doing.

“Coming into the huddles in the seventh [I’ll say] small things that I’ll repeat to help them remember that we have to finish we have to close the door.”

Gemeinhardt-Cesler said she appreciates the effort from her team to help one another stay positive, but she lets her players know she wants them to improve individually.

“It’s your job to pick up your teammate,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “However, you’re responsible for yourself and what you think and how hard you’re working at it.”