FULLERTON, Calif. – Iowa State (14-9) rallied past DePaul (17-6) to win a nine-inning thriller, 6-4, in the opening game of the Easton Invitational on Friday. The Cyclones fell behind 3-0 early, but held DePaul to just one hit over the game’s final eight innings to rally for their fifth-consecutive win.
Iowa State 6, DePaul 4
The Blue Demons jumped all over the Cyclones in the early going, scoring three runs on three hits and a walk in the top of the first inning. Gabby O’Riley opened the scoring by smacking a two-RBI double down the left field line. Erin Andris followed suit with an RBI single to right, as DePaul took a 3-0 lead.
Cyclone starting pitcher Savannah Sanders and her defense battened down the hatches from that point forward, allowing just one hit over the next four innings. Sanders was tremendous, racking up five strikeouts in the outing.
The ISU rally started in the top of the fourth inning. Sami Williams notched a lead-off infield single, and Sally Woolpert reached on DePaul’s first error of the game. Kaylee Bosworth then stepped in and ripped a two-RBI single to left field, scoring Williams and Jaclyn Chairez, who was pinch-running for Woolpert.
DePaul’s lone hit after the first inning came courtesy of a solo home run by Skylor Hilger in the home half of the fourth.
Williams answered back by hammering a solo home run of her own in the top of the fifth. The shot to center field was Williams’ team-leading fifth of the season and cut the deficit to 4-3. Freshman Mikayla Ramos came in clutch in the ensuing inning, picking up a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 4-4. Ramos raced down the first base line to beat out a throw for the infield single.
Senior Emma Hylen entered to pitch for the Cyclones in the bottom of the sixth, and was excellent in relief. Hylen pitched the final 4.0 innings without surrendering a hit and struck out three Blue Demon batters.
The game was scoreless from that point until Iowa State broke up the tie in the top of the ninth. Williams collected her second RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Sydney Stites to give Iowa State its first lead of the game. Talyn Lewis then roped an RBI single to left, scoring Caudle to plate an insurance run.
The defense turned a critical 6-3-5 double play in the bottom of the eighth to help seal the deal on Iowa State’s fifth-straight win.
Iowa State is back in action at the Easton Invitational on Saturday. The Cyclones will take on Boston at 2 p.m. and Harvard at 5 p.m. CT.