AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State softball team (35-24) fell 6-5 to Loyola Marymount (40-19) on Friday in the opening round of the NISC Championship Round at Triple Crown Sports. The Cyclones jumped out to a 5-1 lead through four innings of play, but were unable to curb a late LMU rally.
Sami Williams hit a solo home run in the home half of the fourth inning, Iowa State’s 46th homer of the season to break the school record of 45 set in 2018.
The Cyclones will return to TC Colorado Field on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT to play Liberty in an elimination game.
Loyola Marymount 6, Iowa State 5
The Cyclones capitalized on an early defensive miscue by LMU to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Williams drew a lead-off walk, followed by a beautiful bunt by Taylor Nearad for a base hit. An errant play by the LMU catcher on the play allowed Williams to come all the way home, while Nearad ended up on third base.
Senior Sydney Stites later came through with an RBI single to right field, scoring Nearad from third to give Iowa State a 2-0 lead through one inning of play.
The Lions scored their first run of the day on a wild pitch in the top of the third inning, but the Cyclones were quick to answer in the ensuing frame.
Nearad and Stites drew walks, followed by a Sally Woolpert single to load the bases with one out. Freshman Mikayla Ramos then came through, driving a two-RBI base hit through the left side to extend the Cyclone advantage to 4-1.
Williams added to the lead with her solo home run in the fourth on a shot to right field, extending her own single-season school record with her 16th dinger of the 2019 campaign.
However, it was all LMU from that point forward. The Lion rally started with a solo home run by Riley Ehlen in the top of the fifth, and continued with LMU plating two more runs in the sixth on sacrifices to cut the ISU lead to 5-4.
Loyola Marymount took its first lead of the day on a Maddison Flores two-RBI single to right field with two outs in the top of the seventh. The Cyclones were unable to come up with a response, falling 6-5 in the opening round of the NISC finals.
The Cyclones return to TC Colorado Field on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT to take on Liberty in an elimination game.