HOUSTON – Iowa State (11-11) went 1-1 on the opening day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic on Friday. The Cyclones fell 1-0 to Northwestern (11-8) on a walk-off before taking down Lipscomb (11-5) by a score of 6-1.
Sophomore Sami Williams notched a career-high four base hits in the win, to go with three runs, two RBIs, a double and a home run. Kaylee Bosworth was 3-of-4 batting with three RBIs and a home run in the game.
Northwestern 1, Iowa State 0
The Wildcats took down Iowa State in the opening game of the tournament on a walk-off RBI double by Morgan Nelson in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was the first blemish on ISU’s record in close games, as the Cyclones entered the day with a 5-0 record in one-run games.
Cyclone starting pitcher Savannah Sanders was excellent, despite the loss. The junior handcuffed Northwestern batters all day, allowing just one run on five hits in 6.1 innings. Iowa State’s offense was unable to take advantage of the strong outing, collecting two hits while leaving five base runners stranded.
Iowa State’s best opportunity of the day came in the top of the seventh inning. Sally Woolpert laced a single to left field and was pinch-run for by Skyler Ramos. Kaylee Bosworth then reached second on a NU fielding error in the outfield, advancing Ramos to third. Nychole Antillon was then hit by pitch to load the bases with one out.
However, the Cyclones were unable to cash in the opportunity, and Nelson’s double down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh proved to be the difference. Woolpert had both of Iowa State’s hits in the game, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
Iowa State 6, Lipscomb 1
The Cyclone offense was quick to rectify its shortcomings in game one with a fast start vs. Lipscomb. Williams opened the game with a lead-off double down the right field line, and was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Sydney Stites. Woolpert then stayed hot at the plate with an RBI single to left field, giving Iowa State a 1-0 lead.
Williams was back at it in the top of the second inning, crushing a solo home run to left center field. The shot was her third homer of the year and gave ISU a 2-0 advantage.
The Lady Bison got on the board in the home half of the second with an RBI single from Khayla Green, but the Cyclone bats stayed hot and answered back in the third. Bosworth, playing near her hometown of Manvel, Texas, opened the inning with a bang, crushing a solo home run to right-center for her team-leading fourth dinger of the season. The junior’s home run extended the ISU advantage to 3-1.
Bosworth added to the total with a two-RBI single up the middle in the ensuing inning, scoring Woolpert and Williams to put Iowa State ahead 5-1. The Cyclones tacked on one more in the top of the fifth, as an RBI single to center field by Williams scored Kaila Konz.
Emma Hylen provided another strong performance by the Cyclone pitching staff. The junior went all 7.0 innings, giving up just one run on five hits to go with five strikeouts.
Iowa State is back in action at the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic on Saturday. The Cyclones play Lipscomb at 2 p.m. and Houston at 7 p.m.