The Iowa State softball team has completed one of the best seasons in school history.
The Cyclones opened the season by rattling off eight straight wins. This streak included the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), a team Iowa State matched up against four times during the season. Another major win during the streak came against Missouri. The Cyclones met with Missouri three times over the course of the season.
After taking the first loss of the season against Florida Atlantic University, the team won eight of the next nine games on the schedule. At this point in the season, Iowa State had a record of 16-2. By the time the Cyclones reached the first conference game of the season, the team’s record stood at 22-5.
Iowa State began to struggle once conference play arrived, dropping each of the first 10 conference games. Winning six of the last eight conference games propelled the Cyclones to a 6-12 record during Big 12 play.
Entering the Big 12 tournament, Iowa State sat at 31-19 overall and matched up with Texas to open the event. Texas and Oklahoma State managed to defeat Iowa State, but a 3-1 win over Baylor was enough to boost the Cyclones into the NCAA Tournament. This was the first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988 for Iowa State.
Iowa State was selected to play in the Columbia Regional, with the first game coming against UNI. The Cyclones lost this game 8-0 and were forced to fight through elimination games. The first of these elimination games came against the University of Illinois at Chicago. A strong pitching performance by Karlie Charles earned the team a 4-0 win.
This set the Cyclones up for the fourth and final matchup with UNI. Sophomore Carli Spelhaug hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh, leading Iowa State to a 4-3 win. The next matchup for Iowa State came in the first regional final appearance in school history against Missouri. After splitting the season series, the strong pitching for Missouri was able to shut down the Cyclone offense. A 5-0 loss knocked Iowa State out of the NCAA Tournament.
The team finished with a record of 34-23 on the season, and it was definitely a season to remember.
Iowa State awards
Academic All Big 12 First Team: Logan Schaben, Ellie Spelhaug, Sami Williams, Sarah Tyree, Karlie Charles, Angelica Gonzalez, Janessa Jasso, Lea Nelson, Mikayla Ramos, Alesia Ranches, Kasey Simpson and Carli Spelhaug.
Academic All Big 12 Second Team: Emilie Guerra
Senior CLASS Award Finalist: Sami Williams
First Team All-Midwest Region: Sami Williams and Mikayla Ramos
Third Team All-Midwest Region: Carli Spelhaug and Milaysia Ochoa