FULLERTON, Calif. – Iowa State (17-10) split a pair of games on the final day of Easton Invitational, falling 4-3 to College of Charleston (14-12) before a 2-1 victory over Long Beach State (12-15) in the weekend finale. Senior pitcher Emma Hylen picked up her third win of the weekend vs. LBSU, putting in a complete game to improve to 9-3 on the season.
The Cyclones will now start conference play sporting a 17-10 record, the program’s third-best overall record entering Big 12 play ever.
College of Charleston 4, Iowa State 3
The Cyclones had a golden opportunity to grab momentum in the early going, as Kaylee Bosworthstarted the home half of the second with a lead-off single, followed by a Taylor Nearad double. However, Iowa State was unable to make anything of the situation, leaving the duo stranded on second and third.
The Cougars made the most of their next turn at the plate, jumping out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-RBI double off the bat of Lexee Emanuel in the top of the third. Emanuel’s two-out shot to left scored Alondra Vicary and Yari Felxi to break up the 0-0 tie.
Talyn Lewis helped the Cyclones scratch out their first run of the day by hanging tough in the batter’s box to be hit by pitch to lead-off the bottom of the fifth inning. Lewis would advance to second on a ground ball before Sami Williams crushed an RBI double into right center. Williams’ shot plated Lewis to cut the College of Charleston lead to 2-1. However, the Cyclones left a pair of runners stranded to end the inning, unable to come up with an equalizer.
College of Charleston added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a two-RBI double by Madi Brown to extend the Cougar lead to 4-1.
The Cyclones continued to battle, picking up an RBI infield base hit from Sydney Stites and a bases-loaded walk by Taylor Nearad. However, the Cougars worked out of trouble, leaving a pair of Cyclones stranded, and held on for a 4-3 win.
Iowa State 2, Long Beach State 1
Hylen and the defense were outstanding in helping Iowa State bounce back with a 2-1 win over LBSU. Hylen battled the explosive Beach lineup all day and the Roseville, Minn., native, along with a her stout defense, were at their best in pressure situations. The Cyclones continually came up with winning plays when LBSU threatened.
The 49ers left 11 runners stranded on the day, including three in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Williams got the Cyclones off to a great start in game two, smacking a lead-off double into the gap in right center to open the contest. Williams was then moved over to third on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Hannah Carter. Sally Woolpert then came to the plate and collected an RBI on a ground ball to the shortstop, as Williams scored from third.
Nearad came through with a clutch RBI double down the left field line in the top of the fourth to score Bosworth, who turned on the speed to score from second, putting the Cyclones ahead 2-0.
The Beach broke through for their lone run of the game in the ensuing frame, thanks to an RBI single by Justine Briones. However the ISU defense rolled up a double play to get out of the inning and preserve the lead.
Hylen closed out the complete game victory, going 7.0 innings while giving up just one run on nine hits. The senior went 3-0 with a save in four appearances on the weekend at the Easton Invitational.
Big 12 play begins next week, as the Cyclones travel to Austin, Texas to take on No. 11 Texas. The series start Friday at 6 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast on Longhorn Network.