Cappaert Homers Give ISU Doubleheader Split
AMES, Iowa – Aly Cappaert’s eighth-inning walk-off home run led Iowa State to a doubleheader split with Northern Illinois Tuesday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. After Northern Illinois won the first game 15-6 in five innings, the Cyclones came back with a 6-5 win in eight innings in the second game. Iowa State’s record is now 17-10 on the season, while Northern Illinois moved to 10-12.
During the first game of the day, Brittany Gomez recorded a stolen base that moved her into sole possession of Iowa State’s all-time stolen base record.
Game Two: Iowa State 6, Northern Illinois 5
After starting the first game in a 6-0 hole, Iowa State was the side that pulled ahead to start the second game. Brittany Gomez led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to left-center field, and she was driven in on the next play via Sarah Hawryluk single to left to make it 1-0 Cyclones.
The Huskies moved ahead after putting up runs in the second and third, but Iowa State was able to equalize in the bottom of the fourth when Sara Davison posted a one-out double. Two batters later, Jorden Spendlove grounded out, but that was enough to bring Davison home and the game was tied 2-2.
NIU moved back ahead in the fifth, but Cappaert put her first big show on of the day to move ISU back in front. After Rachel Hartman tied the game with an RBI-single that scored Hawryluk, Cappaert hit the biggest home run of the Iowa State season with a crushing drive to center field that hit a fence surrounding the Cyclone Sports Complex on the fly, well over 300 feet away to put the Cyclones ahead 5-3. The home run also ended the day of NIU starting hurler Rebecca Rupard in the circle.
Northern Illinois was able to force extra innings when Shelby Miller hit a home run about one foot to the right of the left field foul pole to tie the score at 5-5.
NIU reliever Jessica Sturm had allowed only one hit in her stint in the circle, but coming into the bottom of the eighth the only Cyclone she had not faced yet was Cappaert. On a 2-0 count, Cappaert got the green light and smashed the game-winning home run over the wall in right-center and over the sidewalk outside the Cyclone Sports Complex to give ISU the win and send the fans home happy.
Game One: Northern Illinois 15, Iowa State 6
The Huskies immediately got to ISU starter Katie Johnson, with the freshman hurler unable to get out of the first inning and in a 6-0 hole. The Cyclone offense got two back in the bottom of the first via RBIs from Lexi Slater and Rachel Hartman, but the NIU offense then got to Paris Imholz, who gave up four runs herself before being taken out of the game for Stacy Roggentien.
The Cyclone offense looked to have made a statement of intent in the bottom of the second, while down 10-2, when Sara Davison belted a 3-run home run to left field to reduce the Huskies lead to 10-5. While the NIU bats were beginning to cool down, so were the ISU bats as Iowa State could not get anything going late on and had to settle for the five-inning defeat.
In the bottom of the first inning, Brittany Gomez made ISU history by stealing her 49th career base, moving her into sole possession of ISU's all-time stolen bases record. The sophomore had held the record with Adi Blackmon (2000-03) for the past week.
Iowa State will be back at the Cyclone Sports Complex on Thursday when they take on the South Dakota Coyotes in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. with the second game starting around 4 p.m.