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Friday, May 2, 2014 Editor: Alex Halsted sports@iowastatedaily.com | 515.294.2003

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Iowa State Daily

Rewriting softball

HISTORY Brittany Gomez stuns fans with skillful transition

Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore outfielder Brittany Gomez hits the ball during Iowa State’s 6-6 tie with Iowa April 23 at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Gomez has the school record for career stolen bases.

By Ben.Paulus@iowastatedaily.com

I

t is perhaps difficult for coaches sometimes to gauge how well an incoming freshman will make the transition from high school to college softball. Sophomore center fielder Brittany Gomez has far exceeded expectations by those that have been able to be around her at Iowa State. “You can have a good feel for personalities on people, but you never really know how they transition until they get here,” said ISU coach Stacy GemeinhardtCesler. “But she has something that’s just intangible as to the way she approaches the game.” Gomez joined the Cyclones in 2013 after playing for her high school in New Braunfels, Texas.

GOMEZ p7 >>

Baylor to challenge Iowa State in final conference game By Rachel.Anderson @iowastatedaily.com With the season coming to an end, the Cyclones softball team wants to go out with a bang. The ISU softball team is scheduled to take on Baylor this weekend in one of its final home games of the season. This is the last game for the Cyclones in Big 12 play. Iowa State is 2-10 and Baylor is 9-4 in the conference this season. With Baylor significantly ahead of Iowa State in Big 12 Conference standings, the Cyclones are preparing to face tough competition this weekend. “Compete with them. Basically keep up with them. When they steal, we steal. We need our fastest runners on base every single time,” said junior shortstop Lexi Slater. “We need to execute when they are on base and get them in basically just bring all three.” ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler wants her team to focus more on its hitting. She said her team is ready for Bears pitcher Whitney Canion. Canion pitched last season against the Cyclones. “I think Whitney Canion and the other pitcher are both good

Kyle Schlichting/Iowa State Daily

Junior Jorden Spendlove went 2 of 3 with an RBI during Iowa State’s 3-2 loss to Omaha Wednesday at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Spendlove is working with her teammates to get into a competitive mindset for the game against Baylor this weekend.

pitchers. They always do a good job offensively. In conference, you just got to come out, play your game and control the things you can control and let it go,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said. Gemeinhardt-Cesler

has been focused in on watching Canion on video to see how she pitches this season. The team has also been watching Baylor’s scouting reports since the Cyclones faced Baylor and Canion last year.

Junior first baseman Jorden Spendlove agrees with her coach. She believes her team needs to hit well against Canion once again this season. “We hit Whitney Canion pretty well last

year so we’re planning on hitting her well again,” Spendlove said. “So if we keep our defense up we’ll give them a good battle.” Gemeinhardt-Cesler was not too impressed with her team’s defense

last weekend. She hopes to improve the defense to play against the Bears. Gemeinhardt-Cesler added that she wants her team to control what they can control as well as make the plays that they are capable of making. Slater agrees with her coach. She wants to work on cleaning up the Cyclones’ defense for a tough team like the Baylor Bears. “Our defense struggled last weekend, so we’re really going to work on that this week leading into the game,” Slater said. Slater said she believes her team can accomplish this goal by taking reps, throwing to bases and focusing in on the game itself. With this weekend’s series being the last threegame series at home for the Cyclones, this weekend will be bittersweet for the seniors. Iowa State will take on Baylor in the three-game series starting May 2 at home. “It’s going to be our last home game,” Slater said. “I think that it’s definitely going to give us motivation for the seniors. Senior day is on [May 4], so hopefully we’re going to play the best for them and just send them away with a bang.”

Seniors reminisce about baseball club’s transformation By Kyle.Heim @iowastatedaily.com Seniors in the ISU baseball club have witnessed the team’s attitude transition from nonchalant to competitive. Since joining the club, seniors have built friendships, experienced a no-hitter from one of their own and contributed to the shift from losing seasons to winning seasons. Ethan Schroeder, club president and fifth-year senior, has played a key role in the team’s transformation. In his first three years with the club, the team never finished a season above .500. Since taking over as president last season, Schroeder has watched the team not only post winning records in back-to-back seasons but also contend for a bid to regionals this year. “Through my first three seasons, we never had a winning record until last year,” Schroeder said. “We’ve made great im-

provement, solid at every position, even with our backups. Anybody on this team could start a game and do just fine.” Seniors said that the thing they will miss most about playing for the team is the friendships they have built with each other. “Not only will I miss playing organized and competitive baseball, I will definitely miss seeing all of my teammates on a regular basis,” said senior Spencer Maroo. “These guys have become some of my very closest friends over the past couple of years and it definitely will be hard to say goodbye to that.” Along with the friendships, the team experienced an unusual no-hitter last season that did not result in a shutout from senior Kyle Martin. “It was really exciting,” Martin said. “My defense was making great plays for me, helping my back. I actually had a few walks that led to a run.” Martin said everyone on the

team knew about the potential no-hitter during the game, but nobody spoke about it. “We didn’t talk about the actual no-hitter, but they didn’t leave me alone and I didn’t leave them alone,” Martin said. “We just talked about how the game was going, but in the back of our minds we knew what was going on.” Once the season officially ends, each senior will go off on separate paths. Martin plans to return to Iowa State next year as a fifthyear senior, studying to become a physical education teacher. Because of time commitments as a student teacher next spring, he will not be returning to play with the baseball team. Schroeder plans on searching for a job in mechanical engineering and playing semi-professional baseball this summer with Muscatine. “[Semi-pro] is competitive; it’s a lot of fun,” Schroeder said. “You get to play a lot of games,

Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Sophomore Elliott Frey, left, senior Ethan Schroeder and junior Dillan Dwyer are members of ISU baseball club. As club president, Schroeder has witnessed the team transform into a serious competitive contender.

and at the end of the summer there’s a state tournament as well, so there’s something to play for.” This will be Schroeder’s second year playing semi-pro, and

he said he hopes to play baseball as long as he can. Before any of the seniors begin the next chapter in their life, they must wait and see if they get a bid to regionals next week.

5.02.14  

Here's today's PDF version of the Iowa State Daily.