AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team (33-22, 7-11 Big 12) defeated Purdue (32-27, 6-17 Big Ten), 6-1, in the first round of the National Invitational Softball Championship on Thursday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Junior Sami Williams went 4-for-4 at the plate and tied a single-game school record with three doubles on the day.
Williams’ third double of the game was her 21st of the season, breaking the single-season school record she set as a freshman in 2017.
Senior hurler Emma Hylen was excellent in the circle, allowing just one run on five hits in 7.0 innings of action with four strikeouts. Hylen improved to 16-9 on the season with the win.
Iowa State now advances to play South Dakota State on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a trip to the NISC Ames Regional final on the line.
Iowa State 6, Purdue 1
Sami Williams got the Cyclones started on the right foot, roping a lead-off double down the left field in the bottom of the first inning. The junior was then moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Talyn Lewis came to the plate and notched a two-out, RBI single into left field, scoring Williams from third to give ISU a 1-0 lead.
Purdue knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the third on an RBI double by Jenny Behan, but the Cyclones regained the lead in the home half of the frame.
Williams notched her second double of the day, tying the single-season program record. The junior then scored on an RBI single through the right side by Taylor Nearad. Iowa State added to its lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Hannah Carter, making the Cyclone advantage 3-1.
Hylen and the Cyclone defense were absolutely dominant from that point forward, with third baseman Logan Schaben and center fielder Taylor Nearad shining in the field. Hylen was exceptional in the heart of the game, retiring nine straight Boilermaker batters in the third through sixth innings as Iowa State took control.
The Cyclones really got their offense churning in the bottom of the fifth, plating three runs on three hits. Kaylee Bosworth and Sydney Stites both collected RBI base hits in the frame, and the Cyclones also capitalized on the lone error of the game to plate an additional run.
The Cyclones will now face South Dakota State on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Cyclone Sports Complex.