Iowa State Falls to Wichita St. in Shootout, 18-16
WICHITA, Kan. – The Iowa State softball team was on the wrong side of a run-fest Sunday at Wilkins Stadium as the Cyclones fell to Wichita State, 18-16 in the final game of the Shocker Softball Classic. The loss dropped ISU to 15-6 on the season while Wichita State improved to 11-7.
In spite of 18 hits, the second-most in Iowa State history, the Cyclones were unable to pull out the victory, stranding 12 runners on base. That was the one advantage Wichita State had, as the Shockers only stranded four runners on the power of seven home runs.
In the early innings, it looked like if there were going to be a lot of runs scored, it would be by the Cyclones. Rachel Hartman reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Sarah Hawryluk to score in the first inning and the second inning started with Jorden Spendlove recording a single and stolen base, leading to an RBI-single by Sara Rice to move Iowa State ahead 2-0 after two innings.
The top of the third was the breakthrough for the Cyclones as Aly Cappaert hit a one-out solo home run, her sixth of the season, to make it 3-0 ISU. A Lexi Slater walk and singles from Hatman and Spendlove loaded the bases and allowed Rice to drive in her second run of the game to make the score 4-0 Cyclones. Maddie Reese followed that up by drawing a walk that scored a run and then Brittany Gomez got in on the action with a single that scored a run to put ISU ahead 6-0 heading to the bottom of the third.
Wichita State Responds
The Shockers threw their hat back into the ring in the bottom of the third as they led-off the inning with an Ashley Johnson single and followed that up with a 2-run homer by Cacy Williams to reduce the deficit to 6-2. Kelli Spring made it back-to-back home runs the next batter to reduce the ISU lead to 6-3, but the Cyclones were able to retire the side and end the third.
Spendlove drove in a run in the top of the fourth to make the ISU lead 7-3, but Wichita State responded again. Brittany Fortner led off the inning with a double, but was quickly brought home on a 2-run homer by Melanie Jaegers to reduce the ISU lead to 7-5.
Fifth Inning Runs for Everyone
Iowa State came out with the intent to put the game out of sight in the fifth inning. Gomez led off with a single and a stolen base. Two batters later, Sara Davison brought her home with a single to right to increase the ISU lead to 8-5. After an Aly Cappaert single, Lexi Slater cleared the bases with a 3-run blast to put the Cyclones ahead 11-5.
The Shockers fought back again and with a vengeance. Liz Broyles led off the inning with a home run and after a Paige Mason walk, Paige Luellen cleared the bases with a home run to make it 11-8 ISU. The Cyclones decided to switch pitchers, bringing in Paris Imholz for Katie Johnson. The Shockers loaded the bases and with one out, Cacy Williams posted a 2-RBI double to reduce the ISU lead to 11-10. Imholz made way for Stacy Roggentien in the circle, but with two outs Broyles had her second home run of the inning, a 3-run blast, to put WSU ahead for the first time in the game, 13-11.
Iowa State Responds, Wichita State Counters
The Cyclones took advantage of faulty Wichita State pitching in the top of the sixth inning, loading the bases via three walks for Slater. The shortstop tied the game at 13-13 with a double to left-center that brought home Hawryluk and Davison.
Wichita State got back to work, getting two on base before the Cyclones brought Johnson back into the circle for Roggentien. Jaegers put WSU back ahead with an RBI-single to make it 14-13. The Shockers loaded the bases and with one out, Williams was the hero for Wichita again with a grand slam to put WSU ahead 18-13.
Cyclones Get One More Chance
As was apparent throughout the entire game, no lead was safe and though Wichita was up five, Iowa State was ready to score some more runs. Once again, Iowa State loaded the bases without getting any hits via Spendlove reaching on an error, a Rice walk and Reese getting hit by a pitch. With no outs, Gomez reduced the Wichita State lead to 18-15 with a 2-RBI-single. Two batters later, Davison forced the Shockers into an error, their fifth of the game, that allowed Reese to score and make it just 18-16 for Wichita State. With runners on the corners and one out, Cappaert came to the plate, but the Shockers came up with the big defensive stand, forcing a liner to short, who threw to first to get Davison and end the game.
Iowa State will be back in action next weekend at the Louisville Classic, hosted by the University of Louisville at Ulmer Stadium. The Cyclones will start the tournament Friday at 1 p.m. CT against Kent State. ISU will be back on the field Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Wisconsin. Iowa State will close out the tournament with a Sunday morning doubleheader, starting at 8 a.m. against No. 4 Michigan and will be immediately followed by a second game against Wisconsin.