TAMPA, Fla. – The Iowa State softball team (10-11) dropped two games on the first day of the USF Tournament. The Cyclones fell to Wisconsin (12-9), 7-6, in game one before a 4-0 loss to USF (13-8).
Wisconsin 7, Iowa State 6
The Cyclones wasted no time getting on the board as senior Sami Williams crushed a home run to right as the second batter of the game, giving Iowa State an early 1-0 advantage. Logan Schaben then followed that up with an infield base hit and Alesia Ranches was able to get on base via the walk, but they were both stranded on base for the Cyclones.
The Badgers were able to draw back-to-back two-out walks in the home half of the inning, before Taylor Johnson gave Wisconsin the lead on a three-run home run to straight away center field. Wisconsin also added another run in the inning on an infield single that plated a runner from third, giving the Badgers a 4-1 lead after one.
The Badgers would add to their lead in the bottom of the second inning on a Kayla Konwent solo home run to right-center field and a Jolie Fish bunt single that scored a runner from third, giving them the 6-1 advantage.
Williams continued to show off her power in the top of the third for the Cyclones, as she blasted her second home run of the game to left field. It marked the fourth multi-home run game of her career.
In the top of the fourth, the Cyclone offense came alive with singles by Bryn Hanrahan and Carli Spelhaug, and the Badgers would load the bases by intentionally walking Williams. Senior Logan Schaben would then plate the runners from second and third and advance to second on the throw, on a single up the middle, bringing the score to 6-4 in favor of the Badgers.
The Cyclones continued the comeback in the fifth as Alesia Ranches led-off the inning with a single, and Mikayla Ramos followed that up with a double down the left field line, giving Iowa State runners on second and third with no one out. Pinch hitter Morgan Wright would then bring the Cyclones within one on a single up the middle, scoring Ranches and getting Mikayla Ramos over to third. Ramos would then come in to tie the game for Iowa State as she scored on an error by the Wisconsin shortstop.
In the home half of the sixth inning, the Badgers would retake the lead on a Jordan Little solo home run to left field, giving them the 7-6 advantage.
This run would prove to be the deciding factor, as Alesia Ranches’ singled to lead off the seventh, but was unable to come home, giving Wisconsin the 7-6 victory.
It was a strong outing in relief for freshman Karlie Charles, as she allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out five in 4.2 innings of work.
USF 4, Iowa State 0
It was a quiet start to the night cap at USF Softball Stadium, as there was only one hit between the two teams in the first two innings, which came on a USF single to left-center field.
In the bottom of the third, the Bulls broke the tie on a Meghan Sheehan double down the left field line, scoring a USF runner all the way from first, giving them the 1-0 lead.
The Bulls then capitalized on a couple of Iowa State miscues in the fourth, as USF scored two more runs on a passed ball and a wild pitch, padding the lead to 3-0.
USF would follow that up in the bottom half of the inning with another run off of a Bethaney Keen sacrifice fly to left, making the score 4-0.
The first hit of the game for Iowa State would come in the sixth inning off a Sami Williams single to right, which also put Carli Spelhaug on second after she had reached on a hit-by-pitch. Both base runners would be unable to come home as USF once again got out of the inning.
In the home half of the sixth, USF would load the bases on three singles, but Iowa State was able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs.
With Iowa State’s last chance of the game, Alesia Ranches would lead-off the inning with a bloop single to left, but then USF would then turn a double play and get the third out of the inning, giving them the 4-0 victory.
Iowa State will take on UMass in the first game on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. CT at the USF Tournament.