ISU Softball 3/29/18

Outfielder Taylor Nearad stands in wait before a play.

Despite earning one victory out of three games against 15th-ranked Texas Tech, the Cyclones struggled, specifically in the field, as the Red Raiders scored 21 runs in the three games.

In the third game of the series against the Red Raiders, the Cyclones started off well defensively in the first two innings but struggled down the stretch. Iowa State lost that game on Sunday, 8-4.

“[In that stretch] we didn’t play defense; we didn’t make adjustments at the plate against a pitcher that played against us three times, and we didn’t close innings when we had two outs,” said coach Jamie Pinkerton.

In their three games this series against Texas Tech, the Cyclones either allowed eight or more hits in the game or had more than three errors.

Where Iowa State struggled specifically was in the middle innings as 13 of the 21 runs that the Red Raiders scored were scored in the third through fifth innings.

Iowa State started the season off hot defensively, including holding the top-ranked and defending national champion Florida State Seminoles to one run.

However, since the start of Big 12 play, the Cyclones have allowed 45 runs in their six conference games which is an average of seven and a half runs a game.

In each of the Cyclones three games against the Red Raiders, the Cyclones started off well in the field, as they outscored Texas Tech 4-1 in the first two innings of each game combined.

Although the Cyclones did give up a lot of runs, Iowa State remained competitive against the Red Raiders and won a game against them.

“We did not back down this weekend,” said freshman Mikayla Ramos. “We didn’t treat them as the 15th-ranked team in the country, and we treated them as just another team to beat.”

They might have won two games against Texas Tech if the Red Raiders right fielder Peyton Blythe didn’t make a potentially game-clinching diving catch that stopped at least two Cyclones from scoring.

“We were definitely right there with them; we were definitely capable and we had the opportunities to beat them,” said senior pitcher Emma Hylen.

Regardless of that, the Cyclones are 1-5 in Big 12 play and are currently in last place in the Big 12 out of seven teams.

Iowa State is now 18-15 overall and have their next home game on Tuesday at the Cyclone Sports Complex against the South Dakota Coyotes.

South Dakota and Iowa State have already played once this season in Phoenix, Arizona, with the Cyclones coming out with a 2-1 victory in extra innings.

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