The Cyclone fall softball season came to a close Sunday as Iowa State played a doubleheader against Nebraska. The two teams split the games. Nebraska won the first game 8-6 and Iowa State took the second game 10-1.
In game one, sophomore pitcher Emilie Guerra pitched two and one-third innings, while sophomore pitcher Shannon Mortimer pitched the remaining four and two-thirds innings.
The Huskers recorded nine hits, but several early pitching errors started the Nebraska scoring. A hit-by-pitch and two walks loaded the bases. Another walk brought a Nebraska runner home.
The Huskers used this and never trailed. They went on to score four runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead for good.
When freshman pitcher Karlie Charles took the mound to start the second game, everything changed. The once-vibrant Huskers' hitting turned stagnant. Nebraska was only able to record four hits off of Charles.
The lone Husker run was scored in the first inning. Unlike game one, Nebraska was not able to get its offense going with an early run.
The Huskers used a home run in game one to take the commanding lead in the fourth inning that they rode the rest of the way. In game two, Charles did not allow anything more than a single.
The explosive fourth inning for Nebraska in the first game took the wind out of the sails for Iowa State and caused too big of a deficit. Charles kept the Nebraska offense at bay, not allowing the same explosion and helping Iowa State keep and extend the lead.
The pitching set the tone for the hitting in game two. Iowa State immediately answered at the bottom of the first inning and took a 2-1 lead. This was the only Cyclone answer needed as Nebraska did not score the rest of the game.
The atmosphere of game two was a complete reversal from game one. Charles set the tone Iowa State needed and which game one lacked.
Four of the six innings Charles pitched only saw four Huskers at bat, as opposed to twice as many in the first game.
Charles has had success in the fall season, but she turned the tide for Iowa State against the Huskers.
Six strikeouts may not seem like pitching dominance, but when coupled with pitches that don’t allow good contact, it can be stifling to an opposing offense.
Iowa State now enters a several month break before the regular season starts. The schedule has not yet been released. The Cyclones will look to build off of the fall season to be prepared for regular season competition.