CONWAY, S.C. – Iowa State (1-1) split a pair of games on the opening day of the 2018 season at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic. The Cyclones defeated Saint Francis (1-1), 1-0, in walk-off fashion for the first win of the Jamie Pinkerton era at Iowa State before falling 8-0 to Coastal Carolina (1-0) to end the day.
Iowa State 1, Saint Francis 0
Brianna Weilbacher threw a gem in her senior season debut, leading Iowa State to a season-opening victory. Weilbacher was in the circle for all eight innings, giving up no runs on just three hits while striking out six Red Flash batters.
In a game lacking offensive fireworks, the Cyclone defense stepped up and gave Weilbacher tremendous support on the back end. In the top of the sixth inning, with Saint Francis mounting perhaps its biggest offensive threat of the game, left fielder Kaila Konz came up with a critical diving grab. The play took at least one Saint Francis run off the board and got the Cyclones out of the frame.
In extra innings, the Red Flash put a runner on third base in quick order via the international tiebreaker rule. With just one out another Cyclone senior, Nychole Antillon, made a crucial defensive play. Antillon fielded a sharp ground ball at third and was able to hold the runner, before making a throw to first for the out. Iowa State got out of the inning, setting up the late-game heroics.
With two outs, Sydney Stites beat out a ground ball to put Cyclones on the corners for Sami Williams. The sophomore laced a base hit through the left side, sending Hannah Carter home to score and lifting the Cyclones to a 1-0 record to start 2018.
Coastal Carolina 8, Iowa State 0
The Chanticleers took control early, spotting three runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Coastal opened the framed with three consecutive base hits, scoring the game’s first run on an RBI single from Alexis Alvino. CCU tacked on two more on the ensuing at-bat on an Iowa State fielding error, extending the lead to 3-0. Sophomore Savannah Sanders entered the game for ISU starter Emma Hylento get out of the inning.
Coastal’s offensive firepower was on display again in the bottom of the fourth. The Chanticleers loaded the bases for Samantha Sack, who smacked a grand slam to right center, putting CCU in control at 7-0.
Freshman Julie Lewis entered in relief of Sanders following the grand slam. CCU’s Courtney Dean hit a solo homer off Lewis to extend the lead to 8-0.
Iowa State was unable to answer in the top of the first, and the Chanticleers took Friday’s nightcap 8-0 on the run rule.
Iowa State resumes play at the Kickin’ Chicken Classin on Saturday. The Cyclones face Presbyterian at 8:30 a.m. CT and Coastal Carolina at 1:30 p.m. CT.