Gomez Ties School Record in Loss to No. 7 Michigan
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Iowa State softball team gave its best shot to No. 7 Michigan Sunday morning at Ulmer Stadium, but fell short by a margin of 6-4. The loss dropped Iowa State to 16-9 while Michigan improved 19-6.
The game featured Brittany Gomez tying a school record by stealing her 48th career stolen base.
A Strong Start for Johnson
Iowa State’s freshman hurler Katie Johnson made quick start of the Wolverines lineup in the first two innings, only allowing one base-runner in the first two frames while striking out four.
That gave the Cyclones a platform to get going on offense. The Cyclones started the bottom of the first with infield singles from Gomez and Sarah Hawryluk. After two outs, ISU loaded the bases via a Lexi Slater infield single. However, the Cyclones could not bring anyone home as Rachel Hartman grounded out to end the inning.
The Iowa State bats had a chance to get going again in the second as Jorden Spendlove started the inning with a single. She eventually made it to third during Gomez’s second single of the game. During Hawryluk’s at-bat, a wild pitch opened the door for Spendlove to take a shot at home. It looked like Spendlove made it in, under the tag but the umpire at home plate disagreed and the Iowa State threat was cancelled out.
Iowa State Gets on the Board
With the wind blowing in, powering the ball out of Ulmer Stadium was out of the question so it was up to Michigan’s small ball to bring home a run in the third and the fourth to make it 2-0 Michigan.
The Cyclones finally got involved in the offensive game in the bottom of the fourth when Lexi Slater led off the inning with a double. With one out and runners on second and third, Sara Rice grounded out to second, but did enough to bring Slater home and reduce the lead to 2-1 for Michigan.
A Decisive Sixth
Both teams manufactured runs in the fifth to put the Michigan lead at 3-2 leading to the sixth inning. The Wolverines got two on with one out when UM decided to bring Kelsey Susalla in as a pinch hitter. Susalla repaid the faith in her coaches with a double to right to make it 4-2 Wolverines.
Two batters later and with runners on second and third, Nicole Sappingfield hit a 2-RBI single to center to increase the score 6-2 Michigan.
Iowa State had confidence in its bats and they got to work in the sixth. Slater led off the inning with her second double of the day, after two outs, the Cyclones loaded the bases via walks by Sara Rice and Maddie Reese. During Gomez’s at-bat, a passed ball brought home Slater to make it 6-3 Michigan. Gomez re-loaded the bases with an infield single, her fourth hit of the game, and during the Hawryluk at-bat a wild pitch allowed Rice’s pinch-runner, Sami Reyes, to score to reduce the Michigan lead to 6-4. ISU was not able to bring more home as Hawryluk struck out to end the rally.
The seventh inning belonged to the pitchers as Johnson and Michigan relief pitcher Sara Dreisenga both retired the side in order to end the game.
Gomez Makes History
Brittany Gomez started the bottom of the fourth with a single to third base, one of her three infield hits on the day. During Hawryluk’s at-bat, Gomez stole second base for her 17th steal of the season and 48th of her career. The sophomore tied the school record for career stolen bases with 48 with Adi Blackmon (2000-03).
Player of the Game
Brittany Gomez. The sophomore had her third 4-for-4 game in the last three weekends, also accomplishing the feat against Harvard at LSU, and North Dakota at Wichita State. Gomez also posted her 48th career stolen base, tying the Iowa State school record.
Iowa State travels to Lincoln, Neb. for a game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Wednesday at 5 p.m.