Cyclones aim to extend winning streak against Red Raiders


Caitlin Ellingson/Iowa State Daily

Senior Stacy Roggentien, right-handed pitcher, winds up for the pitch. Iowa State softball won both games against the Kirkwood Eagles on Oct. 18 at the Cyclone Sports Complex.

Ryan Leon

The Cyclones are trying to keep a red-hot offense going into their upcoming home series against the Red Raiders. The Cyclones are coming off of a two-game sweep of Green Bay, in which every player found success at the plate.

Iowa State produced one of its best offensive days in program history, amassing 31 hits and five home runs in only 10 innings of play against Green Bay on April 29. The Cyclones were equally proficient on the defensive end, going both games without committing an error.

“We’re really trying to embrace what’s happening at the plate,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “We just want to keep swinging freely, get through the ball and ride out this hot streak for as long as we can.”

With the run support coming early and often, and the fielding working at optimum levels, the ISU pitchers were able to take advantage. The ISU bullpen was barely needed after ISU pitcher Stacy Roggentien pitched a complete first game.

“I don’t think Stacy had her best stuff and she really fought through and played well,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. “We always talk about how good can you be when you’re not at your best, and I think she showed we can play well on any day.”

The Cyclones are going to need their best stuff if they want to continue their winning streak through the weekend. The Red Raiders have been a surprise in the Big 12 this season and are sitting in fourth place, right in the middle of the conference.

Texas Tech is coming off a successful series with Texas, in which the Red Raiders were able to win two of three against their in-state rival. The Red Raiders have created most of their offense with the long ball, amassing a total of 49 home runs as a team. This has been crucial for them, with the team going 18-10 when hitting a home run compared to being just 5-15 without.

The Cyclones will attempt to use the Red Raiders favorite tool of offense against them in the coming days. With the Cyclones’ hot bats, they hope to take advantage of the Red Raiders average pitching staff and exploit a weakness with the home run ball.

The Red Raiders are 20-14 when surrendering one or fewer home runs, but their record drops dramatically to 3-11 when they give up two or more.

One thing that could help the Cyclones with the long ball is the coming weather. The forecast shows a hitter-friendly forecast, with bearable temperatures and high winds.

“I really like to hit with a solid breeze, it helps me to know the ball can really move when it gets up there,” said ISU designated player Aly Cappaert.

The team is excited about its chances to finally sweep a Big 12 series and move further above the .500 mark. The Cyclones haven’t finished above .500 since 1995, although they finished at exactly .500 in 2008.

“We feel really good about how we’re playing right now. The next couple of games will be tough ones, but we are all feeling pretty confident right now,” Cappaert said.

The Cyclones open the series at 4 p.m. May 1 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Game two will be at noon May 2, with game three following on May 3 at the same time.