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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Iowa State Ends Home Slate With Win Over Drake

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 05/06/2014
         
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AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State softball team made sure ISU fans left the Cyclone Sports Complex happy on Tuesday as the Cyclones defeated Drake 6-4. The win improved ISU to 23-28-1 on the season, while Drake fell to 19-32 on the season.

Pitchers Escape Early
Both Iowa State's Katie Johnson and Drake's Jordan Gronewold had to work themselves out of early jams on Tuesday to keep the scoreboard at 0-0. Drake's Megan Sowa had her first of three doubles on the day with a shot to left and Laura Brewer followed that with a walk. However, Johnson and the Cyclones made sure that was all it came to as back-to-back outs were recorded to get out of the jam.

Brittany Gomez led off the ISU first with a single, but Gronewold was able to retire three in a row to keep ISU off the board.

Courntey Wood got a lead-off walk to start the top of the second, but Johnson took over as she then retired the side with three consecutive strikeouts, three of Johnson's four punchouts on the day.

Singles by Aly Cappaert and Sara Davison got the Cyclones two runner on in the bottom of the second. A Sara Rice fielder's choice put runners on the corners for Liana Henry, but she flew out to end the inning.

Iowa State's Big Third Inning
Drake scored the first run of the game as Brewer put up a sacrifice fly that scored Amy Pierce and made it 1-0 Bulldogs.

ISU got right to business as Gomez and Sarah Hawryluk led off with back-to-back infield singles. After Lexi Slater moved over the runners with a sacrifice bunt, the stage was set for Hartman. Though Hartman, who was hitting .522 in her last 15 games, only got one hit on the day it was a big one. The freshman catcher smashed a Gronewold pitch over Sarah Ryan in center and to the wall, bringing home both ISU runners and making it 2-1 Cyclones.

Iowa State was not done as Cappaert got her second hit of the day with a base hit up the middle that brought home Hartman and made it 3-1 Cyclones. A Spendlove base knock helped put runners on second and third with two outs. Davison and the Cyclones went squeeze play on her at-bat, as her bunt was directed well enough to bring home Cappaert and make the score 4-1 ISU.

Drake Gets Back In the Game
The Bulldogs drew back-to-back walks via Liz Buck and Kaitlyn Finneran with one out. After a Pierce fly out, Sowa was left the task of getting Drake back in contention and she did so with a double over Henry in left and just fair as well to bring home both Bulldog runners and make it 4-3 ISU.

The Cyclones got a lead-off double from Henry to start proceedings in the bottom of the fourth. Though Gomez struck out next, a passed ball by Bulldogs catcher Courtney Wood allowed Henry to advance to third. That proved crucial as a Hawryluk chopper back to the circle was thrown over first by Drake relief pitcher Rebekah Schmidt and helped Henry score and make it 5-3 Cyclones.

Spendlove Goes Deep
It was a rare day in that the wind was blowing in from left, as opposed to its usual out to left. It benefitted the Cyclones in that it kept a few big Drake flies in the park, but also hurt the Cyclone right-handed hitters in their efforts to go yard.

Spendlove was not one to be affected as the junior first baseman led off the bottom of the fifth with a high and deep home run to right field to make it 6-3 Cyclones.

Slater Makes History
In the bottom of the sixth, Slater got her second hit of the game with a double to left-center that fortuitously landed inbetween two Drake outfielder. She was able to slide in just under the tag at second for her 16th double of the season. That tied ISU's single-season doubles record with Lisa Leinen, who also had 16 two-baggers in 1989.

Slater's double marked ISU's 73rd double as a team, breaking the record of 72 doubles set by the 1988 Cyclones.

On Deck
Iowa State will close out the season with a three-game series at Kansas. The first game will be Friday at 5 p.m. with Saturday's game taking place at 2 p.m. and Sunday's at noon.
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