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Paradise Classic Recap: Champions!

The Cyclones entered Honalulu with high hopes and left with some hardware.

WELL THAT WAS EASY.

After getting familiar with the team putting together the season preview for this team, I was pretty excited about getting into a sport I’m not well versed in. The pieces all seemed to be there to put together a successful season, and needless to say stepping out of the weekend 4-1 with some silverware coming home, that should get cyclone nation excited.

HOW THE WEEKEND UNFOLDED

GAME 1

Iowa State came out of the gates with a loss to Memphis 6-4, not exactly ideal but there were plenty of bright spots.

Sami Williams continued to be Sami Williams. She went 2-4 with a HR and 4 RBIs, providing just about all the offense in game 1. Memphis was able to cut down a late rally that would’ve gave the Cyclones the win.

GAME 2

The Cyclones lit the field on fire in game two absolutely pouring it on Northern Colorado with an 11-0 victory, 7 of which came in the final inning.

Freshman Ellie Spelhaug pitched a 1 hit complete game shutout in her first start, taking out FIFTEEN batters in a row at one point. Not a bad way to start your career off. Once again Sami Williams went yard on a 3 run shot, accompanied by impressive performances by Hannah Carter, Logan Schaben, and Alesia Ranches.

GAME 3

Game 3 was rocky, being down by 4-1 going into the 6th inning Iowa State pulled out a 8-4 win over Hawaii.

A 7 run inning in the 6th was clearly determining factor in this one as you would expect. Loading the basses with just one out the Cyclones pulled one run in on an error, followed by none other than another Sami Williams 3 run dinger. 3 games, 3 home runs so far.

GAME 4

Iowa State got an easy going victory for their first game on Saturday. Going up against Hawaii again the girls from Ames smoked the rainbow warriors 7-2.

Freshman Karlie Charles won her second game of the season putting together another great performance, managing to head to the dugout leaving runners in scoring position several times. By no ones surprise Sami Williams went deep on another 3 run shot that really blew the game out of the water.

GAME 5

After a rough start letting Memphis jump out to an early 2-0 lead, Janessa Jasso shinned rifling off 8 strikeouts in 7 innings, helping The Cyclones leave with a 4-2 victory to take home the Paradise Classic Crown.

Alesia Ranches took the home run reigns off of Sami’s hands in game 5 of the weekend hitting a lead off homer in the second inning. Ranches sparked the comeback and Mikayla Ramos stoked the flames in the 3rd inning after a double put them up 3-2, and eventually scoring helping bring the lead to 4-2.

WHATS NEXT?

Starting your season off with great freshman performances as well as your star from last year continuing to shine is fantastic the Cyclones. Iowa States next test is in the Knights Classic starting February 14th in Orlando. Hopefully they can keep the bats hot during the harsh Iowa winter and continue their amazing start to the season, where they’ll have to face Villanova, Penn State, UCF and Florida Atlantic.

This is going to be a big test seeing as all of these programs aside Florida Atlantic are above .500 at the moment. This is going to be a solid determination on how we’re going to stack up against another top competition, so make sure to keep a close eye on the squad this weekend.