AMES, Iowa – After a midweek doubleheader against Minnesota, Iowa State (19-26, 4-8 Big 12) hits the road to play No. 1 Oklahoma this weekend before returning home for a Monday doubleheader against UMKC.
The Sooners will be the second top-ranked opponent and second 2012 Women’s College World Series opponent for the Cyclones this season after the team played two games at No. 1 Alabama in March; Alabama defeated Oklahoma for the World Series title a year ago.
Monday’s games against UMKC were originally scheduled for April 17 but were pushed back because of weather.
Sarah Hawryluk, Erica Miller and Lexi Slater will lead the Cyclone offense entering the weekend against the nation’s No. 1 pitching staff. Hawryluk went a combined 6-for-7 against Minnesota on Wednesday with three stolen bases; she has 11 steals in Iowa State’s last 16 games. Slater has come on strong for Iowa State since its series against Texas Tech, hitting .333 with five hits, two runs scored, five RBI and an on-base percentage of .600.
Consistent as always, Miller is hitting a team-high .366 over the last 16 games, a span in which the senior has not hit a home run but instead has hit six doubles and drawn eight walks while driving in 16 runs. Her 48 RBI this season is a school record and her 23 walks are three shy of tying Tori Torrescano for the single-season record.
While the Cyclone offense looks for an opening against OU starters Michelle Gascoigne and Keilani Ricketts against whom teams are hitting just .156 this season, the Cyclone pitching staff will face a Sooner lineup whose starters are all hitting above .300 on the year; four regulars have maintained a .400-plus average in conference play. As a team, Oklahoma is hitting .342 against Big 12 teams, led by Shelby Pendley’s .462 average and 1.346 slugging mark.
Friday's series opener is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Marita Hynes Field on the University of Oklahoma campus.
• After a midweek doubleheader against Minnesota, the Cyclones will travel to No. 1 Oklahoma this weekend before returning home to host a doubleheader with UMKC on Monday, April 29.
• Against the Gophers on Wednesday, junior Sarah Hawryluk went a combined 6-for-7 (including 4-for-4 in game one) and had three stolen bases.
• Hawryluk is 11-for-11 in steals over Iowa State’s last 16 games, leading the team. Brittany Gomez, who has a record 26 steals this season, has six steals in the last 16 games.
• In her last five starts Hawryluk, who missed two games with injury and pinch ran and stole a base in a another, is hitting .500 with an on-base percentage of .600, giving her amply opportunity to swipe bases.
• Gomez tied the Iowa State record for runs scored in a season on Wednesday, crossing home for the 45th time this season in game one.
• Junior Sara Davison has six walks in Iowa State’s last five games; Gomez has four walks during the same stretch.
• Tori Torrescano hit in the seventh spot in the final game against the Gophers; it is the first time this season Torrescano has not hit in the cleanup spot in the order.
• Four Cyclones hit safely in both contests with Minnesota: Davison, Gomez, Hawryluk, Lexi Slater and Jorden Spendlove
• Slater has raised her season average to .226 after hitting .333 with five hits and five RBI and safely reaching base in each of Iowa State’s last five games.
• Slater’s consistency at the plate has resulted in a rise in the lineup. Slater, who has spent most of the season hitting in the 7-8-9 spots in the order has hit 6-5-4 in the last three games.
• The Cyclones drew four walks from Minnesota on Wednesday, bringing the team total to 145 BB this season, three short of the school record.
• Eight Cyclones have walked at least 10 times this season, led by Torrescano (26) and Miller (23) and are seven shy of the team record, 148, set in 2011.
• Including Miller’s bases-loaded double in game one against Minnesota, Iowa State is hitting .500 with the bases loaded this season. Miller is 7-for-8 in such plate appearances.
• Over the last two seasons, Iowa State has struggled in pinch hitting situations, hitting .200 in 2012 and .038 in 2011. No player with multiple pinch hit at-bats has hit above .167 in either of those seasons. This season, Iowa State is hitting .324 in pinch hit at-bats and Liana Henry is 6-for-10 (.600) in pinch hitting appearances this season.
• The Cyclones are 15-3 this season when tallying at least as many hits as their opponents.
• The team is 15-3 when its foes score five or fewer runs and 17-3 when a game is tied or when the Cyclones lead after four innings.
Big 12 Notes and Rankings- April 22
On the season:
• Tori Torrescano is fourth in the league with 13 home runs, sixth with 42 RBI, 10th in total bases with 86 and sixth with a slugging percentage of .723.
• Erica Miller is fourth in the league with 45 RBI and seventh with an OPB of .493.
• Brittany Gomez and Sarah Hawryluk are two of nine players with more than one triple this season and tied for fourth in the league with two each.
• Gomez ranks third with 24 stolen bases on the year and Hawryluk is sixth with 20 steals.
• Gomez is seventh with 52 hits on the year and fourth with 44 runs scored.
• Torrescano is among the top-10 pitchers in the league in wins (10, T9th), saves (2, T2nd), innings pitched (129.1, 6th), appearances (28, T6th), starts (21, 6th) and complete games (9, 7th).
• Taylor Smith is also tied for second in the league with two saves this season.
In conference play:
• Iowa State is third in hitting with a .257 average, behind Oklahoma and Texas.
• Miller is fifth and Gomez is sixth in the Big 12 with averages of .367 and .357, respectively.
• Gomez leads the Cyclones and is second in the league with 15 hits in conference play.
• Torrescano is third in the league in home runs (3), sixth in runs scored (9), first in doubles (5), third in RBI (11) and fourth in total bases (23) while coming in fifth with a slugging percentage of .676.
• Miller is tied with Torrescano in the RBI rankings, is second with four doubles, with 11 this season and sits fourth on OPB with a percentage of .500.
• Lexi Slater is tied for third along with Torrescano with three conference home runs, sits seventh with 10 RBI, seventh with 19 total bases and ranks seventh in slugging (.633)
• Maddie Reese is tied for second with four doubles, is sixth with 20 total bases and ranks ninth in slugging with a .556 mark.
• Gomez is fourth in stolen bases with four, second with 12 runs scored and eighth in total bases, with 17.
• Hawryluk is fifth with five stolen bases.
• Torrescano ranks in the top-10 in saves (1, T2nd), innings pitched (23.1, 9th) and starts (5, T7th)
• Smith also has one save and is tied for fifth with nine appearances.
• Freshman Riley Fisher is third in the league with 10 appearances and is fourth with seven starts.
Scouting No. 1 Oklahoma
• The Sooners lead the all-time series, 62-28.
• Oklahoma is 40-3 this season and 8-1 in conference, losing at Texas on April 20.
• OU’s other two losses have come at home against Nebraska (the team’s only shutout of the year) and Louisville.
• Sophomore Lauren Chamberlain is hitting .420 on the season and slugging 1.017 with 21 home runs, 40 walks and 10 stolen bases.
• In conference, Chamberlain drops to .333 hitting with five home runs, two walks and three stolen bases.
• Shelby Pendley takes the top offensive spot for the Sooners against Big 12 players with a team-high average of .462, slugging 1.346 with seven homers, 15 RBI and eight walks.
• OU is hitting .342 as a team in conference play, helped by four regulars with .400-plus averages.
• Sooner hurlers Michelle Gascoigne and Keilani Ricketts have stifled opponent hitting all season with ERAs of 0.98 and 1.20, respectively.
• In conference play, Gascoigne has a 2.30 ERA and a 2-1 record while Ricketts boasts a 1.80 ERA, 6-0 record and 53 strikeouts in 38.2 innings of work.
• Iowa State is 10-3 all-time against the Kangaroos, winning the last three meetings from 2007-08
• UMKC is 16-19 overall and 5-3 in Summit League play this season.
• Emily Ott (.380) and Liz Broyles (.362) lead the Kangaroo offense this season, but Marlee Maples has driven in the most runs this season with 28 RBI.
• Brooke Parker is the lone player with double-digit steals on the season; she has 13.
• The Kangaroos have given up almost double the home runs they have hit (28-15) and have walked just 57 times this season.
• UMKC starters, Deanna Friese and Cinda Ramos, have ERAs of 5.75 and 7.56, respectively. Friese has walked 66 batters in 122.2 innings while giving up 46 extra-base hits, including 17 home runs.