Iowa State Falls to Kansas, 4-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Iowa State finished the 2014 softball season with a 4-2 loss to Kansas Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark. ISU finishes the season wiht a 23-31-1 record overall, 2-16 in Big 12 play. Kansas finishes the regular season at 33-21 overall, 7-11 in Big 12 play.
KU Ahead Early
After Alicia Pille retired the ISU side in order, Kansas’ bats got right to work. Ashley Newman led off the KU inning with a base hit to center and promptly stole second during the next at bat. A couple batters later, Kansas was on the board as Maddie Stein had a base hit of her own to center that brought Newman home to make it 1-0 Jayhawks.
KU continued to put itself in position to score runs as they eventually loaded the bases. Harli Ridling brought home the second run of the inning as she was hit by the pitch.
Cappaert Reduces the Deficit
After a Rachel Hartman pop-up to lead off the second, Aly Cappaert brok ISU’s duck in the hits and runs department with a 3-2 home run to dead center to reduce the Kansas lead to 2-1.
It was Cappaert’s 11th home run of the season, marking the sixth 11+ home run season in Iowa State history. Three of those six belong to ISU volunteer assistant coach Tori Torrescano, whose two 14-home run seasons are ISU’s all-time record. Erica Miller hit 11 in 2011 and Lindsey Herrin had 11 in 2002.
Kansas Gets Premium Run
Both pitchers settled into their games and continued to put zeros on the board. Kansas got back in action in the bottom of the third when Taylor McElhaney lined one over Liana Henry in left and off the wall. Though her coaches told her to stop at second, McElhaney went for three and slid in safely with a triple.
Her aggressive base running was rewarded the next pitch as Newman got her second hit of the game with a grounder up the middle to make it 3-1 Jayhawks.
ISU’s Comeback Effort
Down 4-1 heading to the sixth and with the heart of the order coming up, Iowa State’s bats got to work on a comeback. Lexi Slater led off the inning with a single. Rachel Hartman followed that with a single to right, but a double run-down happened as KU at first got Hartman caught between first and second. While that was going on, Slater made a run for home, but then she got caught up in a run down, too. Eventually, after nearly 10 throws, Slater was out at home and Hartman had made it all the way to third.
The Cyclones got their first run of the inning when Aly Cappaert doubled to left-center to bring home Hartman and make it 4-2 Jayhawks. However, the ISU comeback effort would progress no further as Jorden Spendlove flew out to left and Sara Davison grounded out to short.
Gomez Just Misses on Pair of Records
Coming into the game, Brittany Gomez needed two hits to tie, three to break, ISU’s single-season school hits record of 77, but she came up short as she went 0-for-4 on the day. Jenny Condon’s record of 77 hits in 1988 stands for another year.
Because Gomez went 0-for-4, that dropped her season batting average to .397, meaning she just missed out on finishing with the second over-.400 season batting average in Iowa State history. Mary Jo Collins had the last at .435 in 1978. Gomez’s .397 season average is the third-highest in Iowa State history, with Julie Osborne’s .399 in 1995 ranking second.