AMES, Iowa ñ The Cyclones begin a five-game home stretch with the Northern Iowa Panthers on Tuesday. |AMES, Iowa ñ The Cyclones begin a five-game home stretch with the Northern Iowa Panthers on Tuesday. The Minnesota Golden Gophers will visit the Southwest Athletic Complex for a doubleheader on Thursday before Iowa State dives back into Big 12 play this weekend against No. 19 Texas Tech.
The Cyclones are trying to right themselves after losing their last three games, including a two-game sweep by the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, Texas last weekend.
Sophomore infielder Erica Miller has continued to contribute big numbers as the season has progressed. Miller is hitting .329 this season, behind only Heidi Kidwell (.352) and Dalyn Varela (.337) and is leading the team with a .364 average through four conference games.
Pitcher Rachel Zabriskie has reached 749 career strikeouts, putting her 13 shy of the Big 12 top 10 list. Last week, Zabriskie became the Iowa State record-holder in complete games, tying the record in a loss at UNI and becoming the sole record holder against Creighton. With a complete game on Sunday against the Aggies, Zabriskie sits at 80 career complete games.
Tuesday’s game with the Panthers offers Iowa State the chance to even the score after falling, 4-2, in Cedar Falls last week. Freshman outfielder Anna Cole hit the first home run of her career in the loss.
The Cyclones will look to Thursday’s doubleheader with the Gophers for two more non-conference wins before jumping back into league play, hosting the Red Raiders on Saturday and Sunday.
Tuesday’s action begins at 4 p.m. at the Southwest Athletic Complex. The first game of Thursday’s double-bill is slated for 2 p.m. with game two to follow at 4 p.m. The weekend series with Texas Tech kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday before Sunday’s 11 a.m. finale. Sunday’s game time has been moved up from the original noon start time. All times CDT.
ï In the only all home week of the season, the Cyclones welcome UNI, Minnesota (DH) and No. 19 Texas Tech to Ames.
ï Iowa State will look to stop a three game skid on Tuesday when it takes on UNI. The Cyclones fell at UNI on March 30, 4-2.
ï Iowa State is hitting .293 on the year and .227 through four conference games.
ï Erica Miller is leading the Cyclone offense against Big 12 foes, going 4-for-11 (.364) in four games.
ï Heidi Kidwell (.333) and Dalyn Varela (.333) are also hitting over .300 in conference play.
ï Varela hit her fourth home run of the season on Sunday in the seventh inning at Texas A&M.
ï Catcher Amandine Habben also blasted a ball out of the yard on Sunday, the first bomb of her career.
ï With her 13th stolen base of the season on Sunday, Kidwell moves to seventh place all-time at ISU with 26 career stolen bases.
ï Kidwell ranks eighth in the Big 12 in stolen bases this year. Oklahoma State’s Mariah Gearhart leads the league with 29.
ï Miller stole the first base of her career in Sunday’s 7-5 loss.
ï Last Thursday against Creighton, freshman second baseman Erin Johnson picked up the first hit and first RBI of her career.
ï Rachel Zabriskie has thrown 80 complete games as a Cyclone and is 13 strikeouts away from joining the top 10 strikeout leaders all-time in the Big 12.
ï Anna Cole hit the first home run of her career last week against UNI.