After beating the Jayhawks 3-2 in extra innings on Friday, the Cyclones won both of their games on Saturday by a score of 1-0 in game one and 4-2 in game two in extra innings.
Iowa State moves to 31-22 (7-11 Big 12) this season, and Kansas is now 15-35 (3-15 Big 12).
The Cyclones won 30 games for the first time since 1989 and have secured the five seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
“Tip of the cap to Kansas, they played well all weekend and put pressure on us,” coach Jamie Pinkerton. “I thought we pitched very well, played good defense and we definitely had timely hitting.”
Saturday was senior day for eight Cyclones: catcher Kaylee Bosworth, first baseman Sally Woolpert, second baseman Jackie Chairez, left fielder Kirsten Caudle, center fielder Taylor Nearad, right fielder Sydney Stites and pitchers Emma Hylen and Savannah Sanders.
All Cyclone seniors were honored at Cyclone Sports Complex after the completion of the second game.
“It’s a big senior class; I’m close with a lot of the girls and they are definitely a class that has worked hard and bought in, and that’s been huge especially for the freshman coming in,” said junior shortstop Sami Williams.
“I think in a lot of places senior can be like ‘Oh it’s my senior season, I don’t have to do that, I don’t have to pick up stuff', and I don’t think that’s how our senior class is at all because they come in and want to work hard.”
Coming into last season, the Cyclones had three new head coaches in three seasons. Now in Pinkerton’s second season, the Cyclones have found some stability.
“This senior class bought in immediately when I came back, and that’s a credit to them, their character, and their integrity,” Pinkerton said. “When I came in from day one they bought in from day one and it shows.”
Two seniors made a start for Iowa State in the circle this weekend, Hylen and Sanders.
Hylen pitched 13 and two-thirds innings, allowed four earned runs off 12 hits and had four strikeouts in two games combined against Kansas.
Despite making two starts against the Jayhawks and limiting them to four runs total, Hylen had two no-decisions in the series.
Sanders earned three victories in the circle which doubled her win total this season.
Sanders pitched 10 and one-third innings, allowing zero runs off four hits and had three strikeouts en route to three victories in the circle.
“It’s definitely special to get three wins on senior weekend,” Sanders said. “It’s one to remember especially with it being senior weekend and diabetes awareness day; it means a lot to me.”
Earlier this week, Sanders chronicled her battle with Diabetes in a feature from Cyclones.com.
Iowa State’s 7-11 record in conference is the best record they have had in conference since 2009.
By winning both games on Saturday, the Cyclones have clinched the 5 seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
The Cyclones will now shift their focus to the upcoming Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Each team is guaranteed three games in the Big 12 tournament. On Friday, each team will play two games in the rest of their pool.
Pool A will feature, the 1 seed, 4 seed and 6 seed. Pool B will feature the 2 seed, 3 seed and 5 seed.
Iowa State is in Pool B and will for sure play Texas and either Oklahoma State or Oklahoma (depending on the result of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State series) in pool play on Friday.
“We’ve got to continue to do what we’ve done all season: be gritty, be determined and always know that we are in the game,” Pinkerton said.