Ames, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team (29-22, 5-11 Big 12) took down Kansas (15-33, 3-13 Big 12) in a 3-2 extra-inning thriller to open the series on Friday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Sami Williams was the hero of the day, hitting a walk-off solo homer in the ninth inning.
The shortstop went 2-of-4 at the plate and drew one walk. Kaylee Bosworth also had a phenomenal day at the plate, going 2-of-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Iowa State 3, Kansas 2
The Jayhawks came out battling and put the first run of the day on the board in the top of the second inning. Becki Monaghan drew a walk to open the frame and, after a sac bunt and a groundout, made her way third. An RBU single by Miranda Rodriguez was all it took to score Monaghan, and the Jayhawks led 1-0.
The Cyclones scored in the third inning, with Bosworth coming up in the clutch. With Taylor Nearad on first and two outs, the senior catcher ripped an RBI double into left center. The speedy Nearad showed off her wheels, scoring from first to knot the game at 1-1.
An RBI double by KU’s Morgyn Wynne allowed the visitors to regain the lead at 2-1 in the top of the fifth, but the Cyclones found an answer in the ensuing frame.
The top of the Cyclones line-up continued to have success. Sami Williams reached on a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nearad. Bosworth then continued her hitting spree, sending Williams home on an RBI single to right field, to tie the game at 2-2.
Hylen was relieved in the top of the seventh with two down by Savannah Sanders, who struck out the remaining batter to get out of the inning. Hylen would exit after 6.2 innings of work, allowing just two runs with a pair of strikeouts to her name.
Thanks to terrific work by Sanders in relief, Iowa State and Kansas remained tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, setting up Williams’ heroics. The junior came up to bat and delivered, crushing a walk-off home run over the fence in right field to lift Cyclones to victory. It was Williams’ 13th home run of the season, one shy of the all-time school record of 14 set by Tori Torrescano in 2012 and 2013.
Sanders would pick up the win, allowing no runs on just one hit with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work.
The Cyclones and Jayhawks return to the Cyclone Sports Complex on Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday will be senior day at the park for Iowa State’s class of 2019. The senior day ceremony will take place after the conclusion of the second game of the doubleheader.