ISU Softball Travels to Houston

Crowne Plaza Tournament (Houston Texas) Friday, Feb. 24, 2006 Iowa State vs. Wichita State, 9 a.m. Iowa State vs. BYU, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006 Iowa State vs. Rhode Island, 3 p.m. Iowa State at Houston, 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006 Iowa State vs. Texas State, 9 a.m.

Gametracker: Gametracker will be available for all games at Cyclones.com.

Quickly: Iowa State enters the Crowne Plaza Tournament with a 1-3 record. The Cyclones went 1-1 against South Carolina while dropping a pair of games to Florida State at the Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. First baseman Jessica Quade drove in both runs on the weekend for ISU while newcomer Amie Ford went 1-1 in the circle with a 1.11 ERA. Freshman Whitney Perkins collected a pair of hits in her first game at Iowa State.

Scouting Wichita State: Wichita State (4-4) is coming off of a 1-1 weekend at the Worth/UTA Classic in Irving, Texas. Wichita State lost to Texas-Arlington (12-1) before defeating James Madison (3-1). The final two days of the tournament were postponed due to inclement weather.

The Shockers, coached by Mike Perniciaro in his first season at the helm, are led offensively by Katie McGeeney and Ashley Lynn, who are both hitting .333 on the year. Cleanup hitter Cynthia Verhulst leads the way with six RBI.

In the circle, Wichita State has a 4.88 ERA and is led by Britnee Barnett, who is 2-2 and has a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings. Margo Pruis lads the team with 29 strikeouts but has allowed 18 earned runs and a 5.11 ERA.

Scouting BYU: BYU enters the tournament with an 8-2 record after an impressive weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, in which the Cougars went 4-1 and posted wins over UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, Kansas and Purdue. The only blemish on the weekend was an 8-3 loss to Notre Dame.

BYU, coached by Gordon Eakin (123-51, Fourth Season), has six players hitting over .300, including Andrea Ramirez and her .381 batting average. Jodi Norton and Ianeta Le'i have each belted a team-high three homers. Le'i and Norton boast slugging percentages of .862 and .818, respectively.

The ace of the pitching staff is Summer Tobias. Tobias is 5-1 with a 1.68 ERA and is backed up by Daniella Urincho, who boasts the team's best ERA at 1.05. Urincho is 3-1 on the season.

Scouting Rhode Island: Rhode Island is playing its first games of the season at the Crowne Plaza Tournament. The Rams are coached by Deb Smith (0-0, First Season) and return 10 players from last year's squad, which went 8-35 overall.

Shelly Peterson is the leading returning hitter after posting a .250 batting average a year ago in 22 games. Infielder Alyssa Martino led Rhode Island with six home runs a year ago.

In the circle the Rams return two hurlers in Jamie Anderson (5-11, 6.94 ERA) and Katie Halcomb (0-3, 8.90). Freshman Odalys Torres (Carteret, N.J.) could also see time in the circle for the Rams.

Scouting Houston: Houston (10-3) dropped a pair of games to Texas A&M on Wednesday, falling 7-2 and 4-1 in College Station, Texas. The Cougars, who were picked to finish first in Conference USA, were haunted by errors as all 11 runs were unearned in the doubleheader.

Shortstop Jessica Valis leads the Cougars offense with a .447 batting average and 10 runs scored. Elaine Nordstrom has 11 RBI to lead the way. The Cougars, who are coached by Kyla Holas (171-138, Sixth Season), hit at a .298 clip while holding opponents to a .210 batting average.

In the circle, Candi Kloecker and Angel Shamblin are both 4-1 with ERA's of 0.44 and 1.17, respectively.

Scouting Texas State: Texas State (8-5) is coached by Ricci Woodard (208-104-1, Sixth Season) and are picked to finish third in the Southland Conference. The Bobcats are led by Ashton Peters, who is hitting .462 with seven RBI this season. Texas State has stole 19 bases in 23 attempts and have three players with four stolen bases or more. Alex Newton is 5-for-5 on the season to lead the Bobcats.

In the circle, senior Katie Ann Trahan leads the way with a 4-2 record and an impressive 0.78 ERA. Trahan is hitting .267 with a home run and four RBI. Sarah Lancour also sees time and boasts a 4-3 record and a 1.33 ERA.

The Bobcats went 4-1 last weekend at the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M. Texas State recorded wins over Utah Valley State, Miami (Ohio), George Mason and Morehead State but dropped a 2-1 decision to New Mexico State.

Immediate Impact: Freshman Whitney Perkins jumped into Iowa State softball with a bang. In her first career start, the leadoff hitter went 2-for-4 against South Carolina. Perkins was held hitless the rest of the weekend but was solid in the field, committing no errors in six attempts.

She'll Produce In The Clutch: Jessica Quade went 2-for-3 with runners on base last weekend, driving in the Cyclones' only two runs with a pair of singles.

The Hot Corner: After ISU struggled in the field, head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt made a switch that worked. Kristy Olsen entered the game in the bottom of the third inning in the season opener against South Carolina and played their the rest of the tournament. Olsen, who had never played the hot corner in her time at ISU, not only was solid defensively, she also led the team in hitting on the weekend, going 3-for-7 from the left side of the plate.

Make 'Em Earn 'Em: Of the 17 runs Iowa State has allowed, only six have been earned runs due to 11 errors committed by the Cyclones.


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