For the first time in school history, the Iowa State softball team is ranked in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association top-25.
The Cyclones entered the rankings on Tuesday at No. 25 after a weekend that saw the team go 4-1 at the FAU “Strikeout Cancer” Tournament and 3-0 against SEC opponents, including a win over No. 21 Missouri.
The win over the Tigers moved the team to 8-0, which was the best start in program history, before a loss to Florida Atlantic and an epic come-from-behind win over Ole Miss left the team sitting at 9-1 heading into the Grand Canyon Purple Classic this upcoming weekend.
Tuesday also saw senior shortstop Sami Williams named Big 12 player of the week for the third time in her illustrious career. Williams, the Big 12’s all-time leader in doubles, his .438 over the weekend with two home runs, a double, three RBI and six runs scored while being walked three times to finish the five-game weekend with a .526 on-base percentage.
Williams hit a home run and was intentionally walked twice to help spark the team’s comeback from a 5-0 deficit after three and a half innings against Ole Miss.
This weekend’s series in Arizona will be headlined by a matchup at No. 13 Arizona State.
It is worth noting Iowa State softball has made only one appearance in the NCAA Tournament and it came all the way back in 1988. There is obviously a long ways to go before the Cyclones can start worrying about that, especially since they were picked sixth in the Big 12 and have their entire conference slate still ahead of them, but Tuesday proved the program is moving the needle more nationally than it has in decades.