CLEARWATER, Fla. – Iowa State (11-13, 0-0 Big 12) fell in two close games on Saturday on day two of the Tournament at Clearwater. In the morning game, the Cyclones fell, 4-2, to Valparaiso (12-9, 0-0 Horizon League) and dropped their afternoon tilt with Rutgers (8-9, 0-0 Big East), by the same score.
Freshman Brittany Gomez was perfect at the plate against Valparaiso, going 4-for-4 with a run scored. Sara Davison also was solid in the contest, with a 2-for-3 game including her first home run of the season.
Against Rutgers, Gomez was 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.
Joylyn Ichiyama wasted no time getting the Crusaders on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the first off Iowa State starter Taylor Smith, and Valpo plated its second run in the next inning on a stolen base by Amanda Wisniewski for the 2-0 lead.
Davison got a run back for the Cyclones in the top of the fourth, leading off with a home run to left center, but Ichiyama put two more runs across for Valpo, both unearned, in the bottom of the inning on a two-out double to left.
Erica Miller’s fifth double of the season with one out in the fifth scored Iowa State’s second run as Gomez, who reached on a bunt single, came around to score from first. Although Miller advanced to third on the outfielder’s throw home, Valpo reliever Taylor Weissenhofer struck out Tori Torrescano and Jorden Spendlove to halt the Cyclone rally.
With four innings of relief work, Weissenhofer (6-4) collected the Crusader win, giving up one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Smith (5-4) took the loss in the circle, allowing four runs, two earned, in five innings of work. Smith gave up five hits, walked five and struck out two.
Sarah Hawryluk got game two off on the right foot with a leadoff single to short, advancing to second on a sac bunt from Gomez. Miller grounded out and Hawryluk came around to score as the throw to catch her advancing to third sailed into foul territory.
The Cyclones put runners on first and second with no outs in the second with singles from Davison and Jorden Spendlove but Rutgers’ pitcher Alyssa Landrith worked two strikeouts and a fly out to end the inning without the runners advancing any further.
Gomez singled to third in the Cyclones’ half of the third and stole second, moving over to third on a fly out from Miller. The next batter, Torrescano, popped out to second but Gomez crossed home and the Scarlet Knight second baseman dropped the ball, counting the run and crediting Torrescano with her first RBI of the day.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Jordan Whitley singled to the right side, sending Jackie Bates home from second for Rutgers’ first run of the game, shrinking the Cyclone advantage to 2-1.
Rutgers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh and Loren Williams at the plate. Williams, who was 1-for-3 with a single in her last at-bat, Williams singled to center, driving in two runs and giving the Scarlet Knights their first lead of the game, 3-2.
After a ground out from Chandler Howard, Torrescano walked Bates, loading the bases again, this time for Ashley Bragg. Bragg walked, putting Rutgers up 4-2, before Whitley grounded out to first base, sending the Cyclones back to bat.
Spendlove led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to right field but would not getting any farther as Rutgers completed the comeback win.
Torrescano (5-5) was credited with the loss after a complete game in which she gave up seven hits, four runs, walked five and fanned one.
Rutgers’ Landrith (6-5) also threw a complete game, surrendering two runs, none earned, on five Iowa State hits. Landrith walked one and struck out four.
The Cyclones finish up their weekend in Clearwater on Sunday against Temple. Game time on Sunday has been pushed back to 10:45 a.m. CST.