Depth powers ISU softball to 4-0 record at the Cyclone Indoor Invitational

Garrett Kroeger

Quality of depth helped Iowa State achieve success this past weekend at the Cyclone Softball Indoor Invitational.

The Cyclones kicked off their season 4-0 by beating Utah State twice and South Dakota State twice as well.

The Cyclones scored at least one run in either the first through the third innings in all four games. The Cyclones out-batted their opponents .346 to .228.  One of the contributors in the scoring early and batting success was sophomore catcher Rachel Hartman.

Hartman helped score five of the 24 runs scored by the Cyclones. She led the team with a .545 batting average and contributed her success to the improvements she made in the offseason.

“It comes with experience. You know your strike zone and you know your umpire strike zone,” Hartman said. “You know what ball you want to hit and you have to get a good swing on it.”

Hartman was not the only one to contribute to the scoring success.

Another key contributor was sophomore pitcher Katie Johnson. Johnson notched all four wins for the Cyclones. She credited her early success to a change in her throwing motion.

“I switched things up a little bit in the offseason,” Johnson said. “I gained confidence back to where I am comfortable and just being the pitcher the team needs.”

Coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler mentioned Johnson specifically as a big key to Iowa State’s success this past weekend.

“Johnson did allow some people on base, but she was able to shut it down.” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Gemeinhardt-Cesler added that the defense was able to buckle down when needed as well.

Even though Hartman and Johnson were two of the primary contributors for the Cyclones, it was an all-around team effort that helped them win all four games.

“It was great to see offensive production by a lot of different people,”  Gemeinhardt-Cesler said about the team. “We feel good about our hitters and they were interchangeable.”  

The Cyclones hit well at the beginning and ending of the games, but Gemeinhardt-Cesler said it will be important for them to sustain their hitting all the way through the games.

“We’re able to get quality hits in the beginning and ending, but we look to get the same quality of bats in the middle as well.” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Iowa State will have its first chance to make those improvements when it takes on Ole Miss at 9:00 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Battle at the Beach in Conway, S.C.