AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team (34-22, 7-11 Big 12) advanced to the NISC Ames Regional final with a 7-2 victory over South Dakota State (37-18, 11-7 Summit) on Friday. The Cyclones rallied past the Jackrabbits with a five-run sixth inning to come within one victory of a trip to Fort Collins, Colo., for the NISC Championship Round.
Senior pitcher Emma Hylen notched her second complete game victory in as many days, giving up just two runs on nine hits with two strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
Iowa State 7, South Dakota State 2
The Jackrabbits opened the scoring Friday afternoon in the home half of the second inning. Yanney Ponce roped a double down the right field line for the first SDSU base hit of the day, and Megan Rushing followed suit with an RBI single off the wall in right center, scoring Ponce.
South Dakota State added to its lead in the bottom of the third on a solo home run to center field by Ali Herdliska, putting the Cyclones in a 2-0 hole.
Hylen made terrific adjustments from that point forward, holding SDSU scoreless over the final four frames to give ISU an opportunity to rally. The explosive Jackrabbit offense was held to no runs on five hits after the third inning of play.
The Cyclone offense tallied one run in the top of the fifth, as Ramos was able to score from second on an SDSU error. Iowa State then broke things open with a five-run top of the sixth inning to take control.
Sydeny Stites and Logan Schaben jump-started the rally with back-to-back base hits with one out. Simpson then stepped to the plate and roped an RBI double to left center, tying the game at 2-2 with Cyclone runners on second and third. Ramos gave Iowa State its first lead of the game on an infield RBI single, scoring Schaben.
Sami Williams kept the bats hot, with ISU’s fifth-straight base hit, notching a two-RBI double to left center to put the Cyclones ahead 5-2. Williams would later score on an SDSU error to make it a 6-2 advantage.
Ramos tallied yet another single up the middle in the top of the seventh, scoring Schaben to tack on an insurance run, as the Cyclones went on to win 7-2.
With the win, Hylen improved to 17-9 on the season, including 3-0 in postseason play.
The Cyclones advance to Saturday’s NISC Ames Regional final at 2 p.m. at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Iowa State’s opponent in the final is yet to be determined. Admission is free