The Iowa State softball team will travel to Fargo, North Dakota, to take on the North Dakota State Bison this weekend.
After being swept by the Texas Longhorns last weekend and falling to both Drake and Northern Iowa during the week, the Cyclones have an opportunity for redemption in a two-game series with the Bison.
Originally, the Cyclones were scheduled to play a three-game series with the Bison, but the Friday game was canceled.
The Cyclone team hasn’t won a game since March 30. There is time, though. With 12 regular season games left for the Cyclones, defensive and offensive discipline will be the forefront of potential success. The Cyclones have glimpses of both disciplines in sophomore Carli Spelhaug and freshman pitcher Saya Swain.
Spelhaug’s offense has been solid throughout the past two weeks, even with the losses. Her batting average going into the North Dakota State series is a .372. Spelhaug is the lead-off hitter for the Cyclones, which allows her momentum to impact the rest of the batting order.
As for defensive disciplines, Swain’s outing on the mound against Drake on Tuesday showed skill. She had eight strikeouts versus the Bulldogs. However, Swain’s outing was halted with Spelhaug’s entrance in the top of the seventh.
Sophomore pitchers Karlie Charles and Spelhaug both have opportunities on the mound this weekend. Even with the loss to Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Charles had defensive help from senior Skyler Ramos, who robbed a home run from the Panthers.
The combination of defensive efforts and communication on defense could allow the Cyclones to take control of the Bison offense.
The Bison squad has two players with .400 batting averages: senior Stephanie Soriano and freshman Emilee Buringa. Soriano maintains this batting average with 94 at bats this season.
The North Dakota State Bison are 12-20 going into the series versus the Cyclones this weekend. They’ve won seven of their 12 last games. The Bison showed up big against South Dakota, dropping only one game, 6-5, in a four-game series.
However, the Bison have had some trouble this season against teams such as Ole Miss and Kansas. The Cyclones faced Ole Miss at the end of February and took the win from the Rebels, 7-6. The Kansas Jayhawks, however, will be playing the Cyclones at the beginning of May.
On offense, senior Sami Williams continues to be a threat. With her .462 batting average and 119 at bats this season, many teams know she has what it takes to get on base, score and drive in runs.
The Cyclones take on North Dakota State at noon both Saturday and Sunday.