WVU Baseball adopts out-of-state Softball Team

As WVU continues their hot-streak on the mound, fans support Iowa State Softball online.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 6:08 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - When you think about all the storylines happening this year with Mountaineer Baseball, you may consider a season of shutting out Pitt, rising in the national rankings, and even the pretzel chain.

But did you know the Mountaineer Baseball fanbase adopted a softball team? Yes, and it all happened over social media.

“I was scrolling through twitter. Obviously, I follow Iowa State Barstool,” said Lea Nelson, a senior outfielder for Iowa State Softball.

In March, Nelson saw a tweet from a popular Iowa Cyclone fan account claiming they had nothing to discuss due to the lack of a baseball team, which is odd, given the school’s softball team already started their season.

“So when I saw that tweet, I was so frustrated and confused,” Nelson said. “I remember we sent it in our team group chat and everyone was like, ‘there’s no way they just said something’, and I said ‘don’t worry, I’m on it.’”

Quickly after calling out the Iowa State fan account, Nelson got an unlikely offer from the West Virginia fan account WVU Barstool.

“They basically were like, ’oh we don’t have a softball team so we’ll adopt you.’ and my whole team loved that idea,” Nelson said.

And so began an unlikely friendship between the WVU fanbase and the Iowa State Softball team filled with support, memes, and even the softball team singing Country Roads by John Denver after their wins.

But there’s one thing...

“I don’t know who runs WVU Barstool,” Nelson said.

So I did some digging, and found the person behind the social media account.

I spoke with him outside of the Monongalia County Ballpark, where he unveiled himself to the world.

“My name is Brayden Cline. I’m a junior here at WVU. I’m from Parkersburg, West Virginia. I was raised in the state,” Brayden Cline said.

“And what do you do?” I asked.

“I run WVU Barstool. I’ve been doing it since August of last year,” Cline said.

Cline, after his original tweet, is one of Iowa State Softball’s biggest supporters

“To me, it just proves how great of a fanbase we have. Most people didn’t ask questions they just saw it and said, ‘Oh we’re rooting for Iowa State Softball now,’” Cline said.

So when Iowa State Softball and WVU Baseball were both at Oklahoma State at the same time...

“We tweeted at them..., " Lea Nelson said.

“Twenty minutes later we had it done and we got them some tickets,” Cline said.

“And now every single West Virginia fan is suddenly an Iowa State Softball fan,” Nelson said.

Now jokingly dubbed, “the Cycloneers”, you can find the girls on the jumbotron during WVU game delays as West Virginia fans cheering for “their” softball team.

But one question remains, and it comes straight from the girls themselves.

“Ask them {WVU Barstool} if their original tweet was more for clout or if they really wanted to support us,” Nelson said.

“It wasn’t for clout,” Cline said after I asked the question. “It was because I thought it would be really funny but at the same time, I was dead serious and wanted to bring them in. Because you can go and look because their next games following that, it’s not like I just went away.”

The hospitality of the mountain state, exuding through sports.

“We haven’t felt that much support in a really really long time,” Nelson said “From a group we honestly would’ve never expected, like who would have thought West Virginia and Iowa would be so close.”