Late ISU Rally Falls Short Against Wisconsin
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Iowa State softball team got its offense rolling late Saturday against Wisconsin, but not enough to get past the Badgers as UW prevailed over the Cyclones, 6-3 at Ulmer Stadium. The loss dropped ISU to 16-8 on the season, while Wisconsin improved to 11-10.
Action-Packed First Inning
Iowa State got on the board right away in the first. Brittany Gomez led the game off with a walk and stole second base. Three batters later and with two outs, Aly Cappaert got Gomez home with a single to left to put Iowa State ahead 1-0.
The lead was short lived as Wisconsin came out of the gates swinging. The Badger lead-off hitters both got on with a Mary Massei double and a single by Maria Van Abel. After Van Abel stole second, Michelle Mueller brought both of them home on a 2-RBI single to give Wisconsin a 2-1 lead. Two batters later, Stephanie Peace made it 3-1 with an RBI-single.
After the explosion of runs in the first, the game settled down as Katie Johnson and Wisconsin’s Taylor-Paige Stewart limited the opportunities for both sides. While the scoreboard read zeros, both pitchers had to fight their way out of tight situations.
Wisconsin loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but Johnson was able to induce a pop up to get the Cyclones out of the jam.
Meanwhile, Iowa State got multiple runners on base in both the fourth and fifth but could not convert. Sara Davison got hit by a pitch and Cappaert got an infield single to start the fourth, but none of ISU’s next three hitters could bring them home. In the fifth, Sara Rice got hit by a pitch and Gomez walked to put two on with one out, but again the Cyclones could not plate any runners.
The Decisive Sixth
A Mueller home run in the bottom of the fifth put Wisconsin ahead 4-1, Iowa State got to work in the sixth. Cappaert led off with a walk and was followed by a Lexi Slater single and a Rachel Hartman walk to load the bases with no outs.
After a fielder’s choice got the first out, a Sara Rice grounder to third looked like the second out, but the throw home was errant to allow Slater and Hartman to score and reduce the UW lead to 4-3. Iowa State could not bring any more home as a Maddie Reese suicide squeeze could not score Spendlove and Gomez struck out to end the inning.
Wisconsin responded in the top of the sixth, also loading the bases with nobody out. Two batters later and with one out, a sac fly by Mueller scored one and then scored a second on an error trying to get the ball home to put the Badgers ahead 6-3.
One Last Chance
Iowa State got off to a good start in the seventh with Sarah Hawryluk and Cappaert both reaching base. However, neither could come home as the Badgers were able to get the necessary outs to end the game.
Iowa State concludes the Louisville Classic against No. 7 Michigan tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET/8 a.m. CT.