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Monday, April 22, 2024

Iowa State Cyclones Softball Drop Series Finale to Cougars

PROVO, Utah – In the series finale, Iowa State (16-25, 5-13 Big 12) fell to BYU (26-19, 8-13 Big 12) by a score of 8-5 at Gail Miller Field.

A frantic first three innings featured back-and-forth scoring with momentum constantly up for grabs. The Cougars settled in in the third inning, taking the lead for good and not allowing a run from there on.

Iowa State suffers its third Big 12 sweep of the season, dropping all three contests to the Cougars. Tiana Poole, Olivia Wardlow and Alesia Ranches led the team in hits on the afternoon, each earning a pair. Poole was tied for a team-best two RBI which both came on her second inning home run. Angelina Allen matched Poole with two RBI of her own, as she, Milaysia Ochoa and Carli Spelhaug each had a hit.

Lauren Schurman (3-5) went the distance for the Cyclones, as the freshman gave up five earned runs on seven hits on the afternoon.

Despite being outhit by the Cyclones; the Cougars were able to manufacture runs. BYU drew seven free passes – six walks and a HBP – as Violet Zavodnik had three walks alone. Hailey Morrow was responsible for three of the runs, as she drove in a game-high of three runners.

Ailana Agbayani got the start in the circle for the Cougars but was quickly replaced after giving up five runs in the second inning. Chloe Temples pitched an inning and a third following Agbayani, giving up just one hit. However, it was Kate Dahle (6-5) who had herself a game, as she went the remaining 4.1 innings where she allowed just two hits with four strikeouts to earn her sixth win of the season.

How it Happened

For the first time in the series, BYU was able to get on the board in the first inning. After limiting ISU to a lone hit in the top of the frame, BYU recorded back-to-back hits –  a double and a single – which would be enough to give them a 1-0 lead. A walk and a single would load the bases with no outs before a Cyclone error and subsequent HBP would plate another two runs to make it 3-0 in favor of the Cougars.

Iowa State responded emphatically in the top of the second, as it was able to bring in five runs to take its first lead of the day. A Spelhaug single would be homered in by Poole to trim the Cougar lead to one. Nosan and Wardlow would then both reach via error and single, respectively, to put two on the paths with just one out. As the order turned, Ochoa doubled through the right side to score Nosan and put herself on second and Wardlow on third for Allen who was next up. Allen followed Milaysia’s lead, doubling down the left line and driving in two to give the Cyclones a 5-3 advantage.

A pair of walks and a fielder’s choice would load the bases for BYU in the bottom of the frame with just one out. A Lily Owens single would score one, as the Cougars made it a one-run game headed into the third.

The Cyclones had a great opportunity to get runs back in the top of the third, as Ochoa stood in with the bases loaded and two outs. A great pitch from BYU’s Dahle would strike out Ochoa, though, and end the ISU threat.

A pair of fielder’s choices would allow for two more Cougar runs to come across in the bottom of the frame as BYU was able to retake the lead, 6-5.

The Cyclones were limited to just two hits over the next two scoreless frames as neither team was able to string things together on offense.

The Cougars tacked on some insurance in the sixth thanks to a Morrow two-run blast to make it 8-5 in favor of the home team.

ISU was unable to muster a seventh-inning rally, falling to the Cougars in the series-finale

On Deck

Following its series finale against BYU, Iowa State will stay in the area and play a Sunday game against Utah Valley before heading back to Ames. Utah Valley, who ISU played in the season-opener in Mexico, is just about four miles away from BYU’s campus. Sunday’s game is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on ESPN+.

 

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