AMES, Iowa – Ali Herdliska tied the Summit League career home runs record but Iowa State got going late in the game to beat South Dakota State 7-2 in a National Invitational Softball Championship Ames Regional winner’s bracket game Friday evening at Cyclone Sports Complex.
Herdliska went 3-for-4, adding a double. Yanney Ponce doubled twice and Lyndsey Crist went 2-for-3 with a two-bagger.
Ponce opened the bottom of the second with a double and Megan Rushing followed with an RBI single.
Herdliska blasted a 3-1 pitch over the fence in center field with one out in the third to make it 2-0.
Kendra Conard took a three-hit shutout into the fourth before the Cyclones’ offense came alive – they finished the game with 13 hits.
Iowa State scored an unearned run in the fifth.
Kasey Simpson had an RBI double, Mikayla Ramos an RBI single and Sami Williams a two-run double in the sixth. Another unearned run later in the inning made it 6-2.
Ramos tacked on a run-scoring hit in the seventh.
Simpson and Ramos both finished 3-for-3, while Williams, Sydney Stites and Logan Schaben added two hits apiece.
Emma Hylen gave up two runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk in a complete-game effort to earn the win.
Conard surrendered six runs – four earned – on 11 hits with two strikeouts over six innings.
SDSU (37-18) faces the victor from this morning’s Eastern Kentucky/Purdue game at 11:30 a.m. The winner of that matchup advances to the regional final to play Iowa State (34-23), where they must beat the Cyclones twice to secure the title.
In the first game Friday, EKU eliminated South Dakota with a 7-2 triumph.
Notes: Herdliska has 48 career home runs, tying the Summit League record set by Western Illinois’ Bridget Maxwell (1997, 1999-2001). … Herdliska has 16 homers this season, tying the school record. Devan Larsen hit 16 in 2015 and Herdliska also matched that mark as a freshman in 2016.
IOWA STATE 7, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
ISU. 000 015 1 – 7 13 2
SDSU 011 000 0 – 2 9 4
Emma Hylen and Kaylee Nearad; Kendra Conard, Morgan DeMarais (7) and Mallory McQuistan. W – Hylen (17-9). L – Conard (18-6). 2B: ISU, Sami Williams, Kasey Simpson; SDSU, Ali Herdliska, Yanney Ponce, Lyndsey Crist. HR: SDSU, Herdliska.