Cyclones Go West
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AMES, Iowa – Iowa State (9-6, 0-0 Big 12) will play five games this weekend at the Fresno State Classic against team from host Fresno State, No. 6 California, San Diego State, No. 8 Oregon and No. 23 Oregon State.
Last weekend, the Cyclones defeated St. John’s twice and fell to No. 1 Alabama twice at the Easton Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In the second game against SJU, senior Erica Miller drove in 10 runs over the four game span and leads the team and the Big 12 in hitting this season with an average of .512.
The Cyclones will need Miller and the rest of the offense to be at their best this weekend against three more ranked foes. Cal, Oregon and Oregon State are a combined 51-9 this season, and only two of those losses, both by Oregon State, have come against unranked teams.
Speedster Brittany Gomez may get her chance to swipe a few more bases this weekend, especially against SDSU, who has allowed 20 stolen bases this season. Gomez, who is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases, is seven shy of the Iowa State single season record of 18, set by Kelsey Kidwell in 2008.
Against Fresno State, the Iowa State will face its own base running pro in Brenna Moss who is 17-for-18 in steal attempts this season. Moss is also one of FSU’s top offensive threats, hitting .338 with five triples and 10 RBI. Oregon boasts two players with double-digit steals in Janie Takeda (11) and Courtney Ceo (10). Both players are threats to get on base as each player is hitting .471 this season and both have tallied more than 40 total bases apiece.
In the pitching circle, the Cyclones will face tough competition all weekend, highlighted by Cal’s Jolene Henderson (11-2) and her 1.21 ERA. Henderson has tossed 92.1 already this season, appearing in 16 games for the Golden Bears, allowing 16 earned runs, one home run and striking out 97.
Other opposing pitchers to watch for this weekend: Cheridan Hawkins (6-1) of Oregon who has 76 strikeouts in 48.2 innings while allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.15 ERA. Hitters are hitting .082 against Hawkins. Oregon State’s ace, Marina Demore (12-2), has nine complete games to her name this season, including four shutouts. Demore has worked 80.0 innings, compiled a 2.01 ERA and held opponents to .213 hitting.
The early weekend tournament begins Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. CST when Iowa State takes on Fresno State. The Cyclones will play two games each on Friday and Saturday.
• Iowa State is at the Fresno State Classic this weekend playing teams from Fresno State, California-Berkeley, San Diego State, Oregon and Oregon State.
• After going 2-2 last weekend at the Easton Classic, Iowa State is 8-0 this season when leading or tied after four innings.
• The team is 9-1 when tallying the same number of hits or more hits than its opponent and has gone 8-3 when committing no more than one error.
• Erica Miller continues to punish opposing pitchers this season, hitting a Big 12-best .512. The senior has struck out once this season while working eight walks.
• Miller blasted her 29th career home run last Saturday against St. John’s while driving in an Iowa State-record seven runs. Miller drove in 10 runs for the weekend.
• The game was the third in Miller’s career in which she has collected at least five RBI.
• Aside from Miller in the third spot in the lineup, the players sharing time in the sixth and ninth spots have had the most success at the plate, hitting .409 and .410, respectively.
• Jorden Spendlove has spent the most time in the sixth place in the order, hitting .435 (10-for-23).
• Spendlove has been solid as the sixth and seventh batter this season for Iowa State, going 11-for-26 (.423) in those spots.
• Maddie Reese has held down the most time in the ninth spot, going 9-for-25 (.360).
• Reese has flourished at the bottom of the lineup hitting a combined .367 in at-bats in the eighth and ninth spots.
• Freshman Brittany Gomez made the most of getting on base again last weekend, going 3-for-3 in steals. She is 11-for-11 this season.
• Second baseman Sara Davison tied her career-high six game hitting streak last Friday against St. John’s.
• After going hitless against UTSA, Missouri State and Boise State, sophomore Lexi Slater got back in the swing of things, putting together a career-best five game hitting streak that from Feb. 24-March 2 against St. John’s.
• With her two-run home run in the seventh inning of last Saturday’s game with SJU, Tori Torrescano knocked her in 100th career RBI.
• After pitching a complete game win against SJU last Saturday morning, Taylor Smith returned to the circle and held the No. 1 Crimson Tide to three runs through five innings on Saturday afternoon before the Tide found a groove and added three more runs in the sixth.
• Leadoff hitters are batting .416 this season, led by Gomez’s .714 mark, followed closely by Miller at .700.
• No slouches when runners are on base, the Cyclones are hitting .348 in those situations. Miller (.533) and Reese (.478) lead all hitters.
• Four Cyclones are hitting above .350 with runners in scoring position: Miller (.571), Reese (.421), Gomez (.364) and Hally Lenzine (.364).
• Over the last two seasons, Iowa State has struggled in pinch hitting situations, hitting .200 in 2012 and .038 in 2011. No player with multiple pinch hit at-bats has hit above .167 in either of those seasons. This year, Lenzine has gone 4-for-6 (.667) in the early season, helping Iowa State to .353 hitting in pinch hit at-bats.
• Miller and Torrescano lead the team with eight and seven two-out RBI, respectively.
Big 12 Notes and Rankings
• Iowa State is second in offense in the conference with a team batting average of .329. Kansas is first, hitting .399.
• The Cyclones also are second in fielding with a .975 percentage. Kansas’ .980 is tops in the league.
• Erica Miller leads the Big 12, hitting .512 on the season.
• Sarah Hawryluk is tied for second in the league with two triples, along with Baylor’s Kaitlyn Thumann. Texas’ Brejae Washington leads the Big 12 with three triples.
• Freshman Brittany Gomez ranks fifth with 11 stolen bases on the year.
• Jorden Spendlove is tied atop the doubles leaderboard with eight.
• Miller’s 21 RBI ranks seventh and she is third in OPB (.593) and fourth in slugging (.791).
• Tori Torrescano is one of nine league pitchers with a save this season and is among the top-10 in the league in innings pitched (47.0, 9th), appearances (11, T8th), starts (7, T9th) and complete games (4, T8th).
Scouting Fresno State
• Fresno State leads the all-time series, 4-1. The teams met last season with FSU winning, 3-0.
• The Bulldogs are 13-10 overall this season, going 3-2 in their last five games.
• Brooke Ortiz (.361), Brenna Moss (.338), Paige Gumz (.311) and Diane Runge (.310) are all hitting over .300 on the season for FSU.
• Stesha Brazil is tops on the club with six home runs and 13 RBI this season.
• Moss is a threat on the bases, finding success in 17 of her 18 steal attempts.
• Taylor Langdon has compiled a 1.73 ERA in 36.1 innings this season, giving up nine earned runs, 10 walks and striking out 12.
• Jill Compton is the go-to hurler for FSU, appearing 17 times, with seven complete games and 74.2 innings in the circle. Compton has surrendered 25 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs.
Scouting No. 6 California
• Iowa State is 2-3 lifetime against the Golden Bears. The teams last met in 2007, with Cal taking the 15-5 victory.
• Once again one of the top teams in the nation, Cal has won its last 14 games and has lost only to Florida and Kentucky this season, both during opening weekend.
• A large reason for the Bears’ success is pitcher Jolene Henderson (11-2). Henderson is holding teams to .170 hitting, has allowed just one home run and giving up 16 earned runs in 92.1 innings of work.
• Cal is hitting .303 as a team, led by Lindsey Ziegenhirt’s .395 average.
• Ziegenhirt counts nine home runs and 23 RBI among her 15 hits this season.
• The Bears are scheduled to play Pacific on Wednesday before heading to the Fresno State Classic.
Scouting San Diego State
• Iowa State defeated SDSU last season, 6-4, leaving the Cyclones 5-6 all-time against the Aztecs.
• SDSU is 10-9 this season and 2-3 in its last five games, last losing to No. 10 UCLA, 0-7.
• Neither Rebecca Arbino (1.95) or Danielle O’Toole (1.71) has an ERA above 2.00 this season but 26 team errors have led to 13 unearned runs scored against the Aztecs.
• Lorena Bauer paces the team with five home runs and 18 RBI this season. Bauer also has a team-high seven doubles.
• Five Aztecs are hitting better than .300 entering the weekend, led by Kamerin May with an average of .371.
Scouting No. 8 Oregon
• Oregon leads the all-time series 2-0, picking up its last win over the Cyclones, 8-0, in 2004.
• The Ducks are on a 12-game winning streak and have fallen only to Hawai’i, Florida and Oklahoma on the year.
• As a staff, Ducks pitchers have allowed just 28 earned runs for an ERA of 1.41.
• Cheridan Hawkins has struck out 76 batters in 48.2 innings of work and opponents are hitting .082 against her.
• Both Courtney Ceo and Janie Takeda are hitting .471 this spring but Kailee Cuico and Kaylan Howard lead the team with seven home runs. Cuico has driven in 26 runs, Howard 20.
Scouting No. 23 Oregon State
• Iowa State lost a close one, 4-5, to the Beavers last season, leaving the Cyclones 0-2 lifetime against OSU.
• The Beavers enter the weekend 4-1 in their last five games, losing most recently to Iowa, 3-9.
• OSU’s other losses this season have been to Creighton, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
• Natalie Hampton is the biggest threat at the plate for OSU, hitting .446 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. She has also walked 11 times and scored a team-high 20 runs.
• Oregon State has four players with at least four steals this season, led by Elizabeth Santana who is 6-of-7.
• Marina Demore (12-2) has completed nine games this season, giving up 23 earned runs and holding teams to .213 hitting.