Panthers dominate Cyclones 12-4 in Ames



UNI’s Kailyn Packard pitched five scoreless innings on Wednesday against Iowa State, helping the Panthers beat the Cyclones with the score of 12-4 in Ames.

DREW HILL, Opinion Columnist

The UNI softball team traveled to Ames on April 6 to face the Iowa State Cyclones. They had played once earlier this season, with Iowa State winning in the UNI Dome 5-4 back on Feb. 13. The Panthers started out the season slow, but have come on strong as of late, having won eight of their last 10 going into the rematch with Iowa State, including a 6-1 start in Missouri Valley play. Iowa State came in 19-16, losing six in a row. It seemed like a favorable situation for a revenge game on the road for UNI.

The Panthers quickly got two batters on base in the top of the first inning. Kylee Sanders helped the Panthers draw first blood, hitting a single to left field to get Sammy Moss home for the first run. On the next play, Emmy Wells slammed a home run to bring Madison Parks and Sanders home to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead. Iowa State cut the lead to two with a pair of runs, but UNI’s defense held strong, forcing three outs to strand two runners on base.

The second inning featured more UNI scoring, as Mya Dodge hit  second home run of the day to center field, also bringing in Maggie Erpelding to increase the lead to four at 6-2. UNI held Iowa State scoreless for the second, third, and fourth innings. In the third inning, Wells hit her second home run to get Sanders home for the second time. Parks hit two home runs, including a solo homer in the fourth and another home run in the fifth, getting Moss home on the second home run. UNI’s other run of the fifth inning came on a Cyclone error that allowed Dodge to get her second run. This gave UNI a 12-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Iowa State scored a couple of runs, but could only get two, thereby ending the game via the run rule. The run rule is a mercy rule that ends the game if one team is leading by eight or more after the fifth inning, among other scenarios. Since UNI led 12-4, the game was over.

Parks had the most runs and hits with three of each, while also tying with Wells to lead in home runs with two. Wells also led the team in RBI, batting in five runs, which was a career high. Pitcher Kailyn Packard pitched all five innings, striking out six batters and finishing with an earned run average (ERA) of 0.25.