The Cyclones faced the Texas Longhorns for the series finale on Sunday, falling 10-0 in six innings and thus being on the receiving end of a 3-0 series sweep.
But throughout Sunday, Iowa State hurt itself in a game it needed to win.
In the top of the first, the Cyclones allowed the Longhorns to score first and gain momentum with a two-run home run. Sophomore Janessa Jasso started off the game for the Cyclones but was switched out in the top of the third. Junior Shannon Mortimer entered the game for the Cyclones and gave up a two run home run.
Mortimer stayed in the game to help the Cyclones keep the Longhorns at seven in the top of the fifth inning.
“I feel like pitching wise I did pretty well today," Junior Shannon Mortimer said. "I did miss two pitches but they went down the middle. I had an error so that wasn't good but for pitching performance I’d say I did pretty good for one of my first time’s getting back out there."
Sophomore Alesia Ranches hit a single in the bottom of the second, but it wasn’t enough. Senior Sami Williams was able to get on in the bottom of the fourth to start the offensive efforts for the Cyclones, but was caught stealing and thrown out at second base.
Simply getting on base, versus this Texas team, did not benefit the Cyclones.
Scrappy defense is the key to slowing the Texas offense down. In the top of the second, freshman Milaysia Ochoa jumped up against the right field fence to take away an opportunity for the offense to continue.
To compete with Texas, who has the second highest batting average in the nation (.378), disciplined at-bats and base running are a must. The Cyclones didn’t get anyone across through five innings, which diminished their winning chances.
The Cyclones were able to communicate and stay disciplined on defense, but had to pay for their errors. In the top of the sixth inning, the Cyclones made an error at second base allowing both Longhorns on base to advance. Another communication error directly after allowed the Longhorns to extend their lead, 8-0.
When one thing went right for Texas, one thing went wrong for the Cyclones. The Longhorns were able to capitalize on the two errors by hitting a two run home run in the top of the sixth.
With a mix of errors and lack of attack on offense, the Cyclones became their own worst enemy while playing the Longhorns.
“Ourselves. I thought we hit well on Friday and Saturday and we didn’t hit particularly well [Sunday]," Head Coach Jamie Pinkerton said. "We didn't adjust offensively and we weren’t clean defensively and made the four errors and gave them some runs. We all know in the sport that you are not gonna win a lot of ball games when you give away 10-11 runs like we did this weekend."
With more games to come in the next couple of weeks, the Cyclones have the opportunity to get back to the softball that they were playing prior to Big 12 play.
“The main thing is overcoming ourselves as an obstacle," Pinkerton said.