ISU softball’s season comes to a close after many highs, lows


Whitney Lynn/Iowa State Daily

Senior pitcher Stacy Roggentien, tries to strike out one of the Drake Bulldogs at the game on April 8 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. The Cyclones fell short with a final score of 6-3.

Garrett Kroeger

With the song “Closing Time” ringing over the sound speakers at the Cyclone Sports Complex, another end came to the ISU softball season.

Iowa State’s season can be summarized in many ways: the scoring struggles, the on-and-off hitting and the pitching struggles are just a few, but some players on the team say the season comes down to team cohesion.

Team cohesion helped the team through the roller coaster season. 

“Through the high and lows, we always stuck together,” said junior outfielder Brittany Gomez. “That is what defines us as a team.”

The Cyclones worked on hitting and scoring.

All of the usual starting players scored more than 10 runs. Gomez led the team in runs scored, at 43, and she led the team and the Big 12 in hits, at 79.

They faced stiff competition.

The Cyclones played 13 of 54 games against teams that were ranked in the NCAA top 25 this season. They also played in the Big 12 that included teams like Oklahoma, which stayed in the top 10 all season long, and other teams like Baylor, Texas and Kansas, which were all ranked in the top 25.

“The Big 12 is full of great teams,” said ISU head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “But I am very proud of how we as a team competed against the conference.”

Iowa State did at times perform well against the stiff competition. Iowa State beat Baylor for the first time since 2011 and it won in Waco, Texas for the first time since 2008.

The Cyclones also faced some tough breaks.

Throughout the 2015 season, the Cyclones had a few heartbreaks.

The heartbreaks included a 1-0 loss to UC-Davis, losing on a grand slam against 14th-ranked California, an unsuccessful comeback against Texas Tech in extra innings and ending the season by losing all three games in a series against Kansas.

The Cyclones stuck together even during some of their low points of the season. Iowa State experienced seven losing streaks that consisted of two losses or more.

But no matter what, the Cyclones always fought together to overcome their losing streaks. The players attempted to put those losing streaks at the back of their minds and adopted the mentality of a “new season.” When the team adopted that mindset, its performance took off.

After each losing streak, the Cyclones initiated their own winning streaks.

“No matter what, we always went in with the mindset that every game was a new season for us,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Going into the last series of the year, the Cyclones wanted to end the season on a winning note. However, the season did not end the way the Cyclones wanted.

Iowa State ended the season with three losses to Kansas.

“It is just a surreal feeling knowing that we are done,” said senior shortstop Lexi Slater. “But I know that this team will be in good hands next year with the great junior leadership and the with the experience people gained this year.”

The Cyclones are only losing four key starters in Lexi Slater, second baseman Maddie Reese, first baseman Jorden Spendlove and winningest pitcher Stacy Roggentien. But they are returning key hitters in Gomez, junior Aly Cappaert, who was tied leading the team with 11 home runs, freshman Kelsey McFarland, who had three grand slams this season and freshman Nychole Antillon, who batted .265.

“Though we did not end the season the way we liked, we are very excited for next year, as I believe we will be even better,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.