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The Iowa State Softball team huddles at the end of the top of seventh inning during their lose to #15 Texas Tech.  Iowa State lost to Texas Tech 8-4 on Mar. 31, dropping their record to 18-15 overall and 1-5 in Big 12 play. 

The Cyclones are set to play two non-conference teams mid-week after a 2-1 series loss against conference opponent Texas Tech. The Cyclones will open the week against South Dakota at 4 p.m. Tuesday followed by an in-state rival against Drake at 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

With an overall record of 18-15 (1-5 Big 12), the team's fighting to stay above .500.

"Here in the last couple of weeks, we haven't done anything particularly well and the record shows that we're 1-5 [in conference]," said softball coach Jamie Pinkerton. "We've got to clean up the offense and make the necessary adjustments. We got to stop making defensive mistakes that is causing a lot of problems."

To help the Cyclone defense, the pitching becomes more important to ease some of the pressure.

Senior pitcher Emma Hylen figures to be a key piece to Iowa State's success this week, as she's carried the largest role in the circle with 88 innings pitched this season.

"We have a couple mid-week games coming up and then we play Georgia Tech next weekend," Hylen said. "Those games we really need to capitalize on those opportunities and make sure none of those little things get by and win those games to keep us in a good spot for the postseason." 

Whether it's hitting, pitching or fielding, the focus is on technical aspects.

"The little things are what we need to take care of," said freshman Mikayla Ramos. "We take care of the big things pretty well but we need to take care of the little things like covering the bases or putting balls in play in certain situation."

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