OMAHA, Neb.— Despite defeating the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 13-6 in Omaha, Nebraska, Iowa State struggled against the Mavericks on Wednesday, as it took the Cyclones an extra inning to defeat the Mavericks.
Iowa State improved to 28-18 (4-8 Big 12) and is now guaranteed to not have a losing record this season for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, Omaha fell to 4-37 (2-10 Summit).
Offensively, the Cyclones hit very well after it was all said and done on Wednesday as they scored 13 runs off 16 hits, including home runs by junior Logan Schaben, senior catcher Kaylee Bosworth, senior first baseman Sally Woolpert and junior shortstop Sami Williams.
While Iowa State did play well offensively, the same can’t be said for its pitching, especially early on.
In the eight innings of play, the Mavericks scored six runs off of 11 hits. Five of those runs came in the first three innings of the game.
“What stands out to me is that we didn’t play our best, but we still won,” said Iowa State coach Jamie Pinkerton. “Our pitching wasn’t the best it could be and we know there are days where we give up runs, but the offense had their back and we played sound defense.”
Freshman Shannon Mortimer got the start for the Cyclones in the circle; however, senior Emma Hylen stepped in for her in the third inning after the Mavericks scored three runs in that half of the inning.
Hylen pitched six innings, had five strikeouts and allowed two runs off of five hits. Hylen earned her 14th victory of the season on Tuesday and has a record of 14-7 this season.
“We struggled with different aspects of the game early on but we let those go, and we focused more on controlling what we can control, [learning] from every at-bat and [made] adjustments,” Hylen said. “We did those well enough to win this game."
The Mavericks jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the first inning. In the first three innings, Omaha scored five runs off seven hits.
Iowa State scored four runs and Omaha scored three runs which led to the game being knotted up at five apiece after three innings.
“We came out a little slow, but we got things going later on,” said senior center fielder Taylor Nearad.
Omaha held a late lead as it led 6-5 in the top of the sixth inning. Schaben hit a solo home run for the Cyclones in the top of the sixth inning that tied the game and forced extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Cyclones scored seven runs off eight hits including a two-run double by Nearad that got things going in the top of the eighth.
Nearad had been hitless in her four at-bats but got a hit when it mattered most.
“Coach told me that if the person before Sami [Williams] got on base, then they were going to walk her and to be prepared,” Nearad said. “I told myself Sami’s going to get walked and I’m going to get a hit here.”
That’s precisely what happened, and the Cyclones took an 8-6 lead after Nearad’s at-bat and went on to win 13-6.