ISU's Seventh-Inning Rally Falls Short at Drake
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team made a furious seventh-inning rally to try and overcome Drake's five-run lead Wednesday evening at Buel Field, but fell short as the Cyclones lost to the Bulldogs 10-9. The loss dropped ISU to 18-18 on the season, while Drake improved to 11-23.
Iowa State wasted very little time getting on the board in the first. Brittany Gomez led off the game by reaching via a hit by pitch. An error by the Drake catcher allowed Gomez to advance to second and on the next pitch Gomez stole her 20th base of the season at third and an errant throw by the catcher allowed her to score to make it 1-0 Cyclones. With the steal, Gomez became the first player in ISU history to record multiple 20-stolen base steals.
Two batters later, Lexi Slater posted her seventh home run of the season with a stinging line drive to center that just cleared the wall to put ISU ahead 2-0.
Iowa State went on to fill the bases and bring in some more runs in the first as Jorden Spendlove, Sara Rice and Liana Henry all added RBI-singles to put ISU ahead 5-0 before Drake even got a chance to bat.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases to start the first, forcing ISU into an early pitching change as Paris Imholz took over for Katie Johnson. After getting the first out, Imholz hit Laura Brewer with a pitch to score Drake’s first run of the game. The next batter, a Rebekah Schmidt sac fly scored a second to make it 5-2 Cyclones.
Drake drew two walks to start the bottom of the second and Liz Buck cashed in with an RBI-double that scored one to reduce the ISU lead to 5-3. After a strikeout, Hayley Nybo made it 5-4 with an RBI-single to center. ISU brought Johnson back in to try and secure the final out, and she induced a grounder to third but Rice could not handle it and Drake scored on the error to tie the game.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a bases-loaded single from Brewer to make it 6-5.
Drake’s Big Play
The Bulldogs loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fifth, this time with two outs when Nybo made launched one to the wall in left-center. Drake was able to clear the bases on the play and with the ball headed home, Nybo made the decision to try and get over to third. Rachel Hartman threw over, but missed the target, allowing Nybo to come home and expand the Drake lead to 10-5.
The Late Iowa State Rally
The Cyclones needed runs in a hurry and got right to work in the seventh inning. With Hawryluk and Slater on the corners, Cappaert made it 10-6 with an RBI single up the middle. The Cyclones loaded the bases on a Hartman walk and Sara Davison made the big hit with a 2-RBI double to again reduce the Drake lead to 10-8.
The big play came on the next at-bat as Spendlove lined one into center for a single. With one run already home, head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler made the decision to bring home Davison from second. A good throw by Drake centerfielder Sarah Ryan got Davison out at the plate, with the Bulldogs still ahead 10-9 and now with two outs.
With Spendlove on second, Rice hit a fly ball into foul ground in left for the final out and Drake escaped with a win.
Iowa State is back at home for a Big 12 series against Texas. The first game is on Friday at 4 p.m. with the games on Saturday and Sunday slated for noon at the Cyclone Sports Complex.