Sioux Falls, SD
The South Dakota State softball team came from behind on both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday in Sioux Falls, beating North Dakota 8-7 in the opener and 8-4 in the nightcap.
The sweep boosts the Jackrabbits record to 11-18, while North Dakota falls to 10-24.
North Dakota opened up an early 4-0 lead after two and a half innings in Game 1 before the Jacks got on the board with back-to-back doubles from Kelly Kleppin and Alex Landon to cut the lead to 4-1.
UND came right back with three runs in the fourth to go up 7-1 and looked poised to run away with the win, only to see the Jacks bounce back with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, highlighted by a Kleppin grand slam homerun, the first long ball of her career, the cut the lead to 7-6 after four complete.
SDSU tied the game at 7-all in the fifth on a Jessica Markanich double that scored Devan Larsen, who reached on a one out single.
Landon, pitching in relief of Kori Seidlitz, sat UND down in order in the sixth, and then knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice that scored Sammy Bingham to complete the comeback and put the Jacks up 8-7.
Landon did surrender a pair of hits in the seventh, but did not give up the tying run, securing the win for the Jacks.
Along with going 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of RBI, Landon tossed three and a third innings, giving up just three hits and no runs, with a walk and three strikeouts. She improves to 2-1 with the win.
Kleppin went 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBI on her grand slam, and also scored two runs in the win.
Similar to the opener, UND came out hot in Game 2, scoring three runs on four hits in the first inning to take the early 3-0 lead.
SDSU got one back in the bottom of the inning on an Elyse Eitel sacrifice fly that scored Bingham to make it 3-1 UND, and then erupted for four runs in the second to take the lead for good.
Marlee Petersen opened the second with her fourth homerun of the season get the Jacks within one at 3-2. Two batters later, Emily Weber smacked a triple to left center field. That brought up Vanessa Kellems, who walked and then advanced to second uncontested, setting the stage for Bingham, who singled home Weber and Kellems to put the Jacks ahead 4-2.
SDSU tacked on one more in the second on a UND error go push the lead to 5-3 after two innings.
UND got one back in the top of the third, but the Jacks got that back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Eitel that scored Kleppin to put SDSU up 6-4.
SDSU added two more insurance runs in the fifth on a single from Bingham that scored Weber and Petersen.
Bingham went 3-for-4 in Game 2, with four RBI and a run scored. Kleppin went 3-for-4 in the win with a pair of run scored.
After the shaky start, Jennifer Sutton found her groove in the circle. She gave up four runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks in the win, which boosts her record to 4-5.
The Jacks look to make it three in a row on Friday, when they return to Summit League play in Vermillion against South Dakota. The doubleheader with the Coyotes starts at 2 p.m., followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
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