GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Iowa State (7-5) opened day one of the Aquafina Invitational with a 1-0 walk-off victory in extra innings over Georgia Southern (7-3), followed by a 9-5 loss to Maryland (3-7).
Iowa State 1, Georgia Southern 0
Brianna Weilbacher and the Cyclone defense were excellent in the opening game of the Aquafina Invitational, shutting down the Eagle offensive attack. It was Weilbacher’s second complete game shutout of the season, as Iowa State stretched its winning streak to four games.
The senior pitcher from Columbia, Ill., opened the game in dominant fashion, striking out the first three Georgia Southern batters she faced. Weilbacher did not allow a base runner until the third inning, and did not surrender a hit until the top of the fourth.
Iowa State’s offense continually threatened to break the tie, putting runners in scoring position in six of the first seven innings. The best Cyclone opportunity of the game came in the bottom of the third inning, as Kaila Konz and Taylor Nearad drew walks, and later advanced to second and third on a wild pitch with one out. However, back-to-back ground outs got GSU out of the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Konz made one of the biggest plays of the day defensively. Hannah Farrell ripped a base hit to right field that looked like it would score Eagle speedster Mekhia Freeman from second, breaking the 0-0 tie. However, Konz fielded the ball and threw a dime to catcher Kaylee Bosworth, who tagged Freeman out on a play at the plate, keeping Georgia Southern off the board.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, and Nearad on second base thanks to the international tie-breaker rule, Bosworth stepped to the plate and provided the late-game heroics. The junior from Manvel, Texas, laced an RBI base hit to right-center, scoring Nearad to send the Cyclones past Georgia Southern, 1-0. It was Iowa State’s second walk-off victory of the season.
Maryland 9, Iowa State 5
The Terrapins took control of ISU’s second game of the day early. Following a scoreless first inning, Maryland put up five runs in the second frame during a two-out rally that Iowa State never recovered from. A walk, followed by a base hit for Mikayla Werahiko, put runners on first and second. The Terrapins then drew back-to-back walks, bringing the first run of the game to the plate.
Savannah Sanders then entered with the bases loaded to relieve ISU starter Emma Hylen. The Terrapins tacked on two runs via back-to-back HBP’s, followed by a two-RBI base hit by Jacqui Pascual to give Maryland a 5-0 lead.
Iowa State got a run back in the top of the third, as Sally Woolpert connected on an RBI single to right field. Bosworth raced home from second base to get Iowa State on the board, but UM pitcher Sydney Golden got out of the inning with the Cyclones still trailing 5-1. Maryland then tacked two more runs on the board in the top of the fourth on an Iowa State error, followed by a wild pitch.
The Cyclones scored one run each in the fifth and sixth to narrow Maryland’s lead to 7-3. Sami Williamsand Nychole Antillon notched back-to-back doubles to get ISU on the board in the fifth. Nearad collected an RBI base hit to score Hannah Carter in the sixth. Maryland responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the sixth inning.
Iowa State refused to go away without a fight, notching two runs on three hits in the top of the seventh, including Woolpert’s second RBI base hit of the day. The Cyclones eventually loaded the bases to bring the tying run up to the plate, but were never able to cut further into the Maryland lead, falling 9-5.
The Cyclones return to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on Saturday. Iowa State will face No. 2 Florida at 3:30 p.m. CT and Illinois State at 6 p.m. CT.