FARGO, N.D.—South Dakota held an 8-3 lead in the sixth inning, but it was Fort Wayne that walked off with a 9-8 win in a Summit League Tournament winner’s bracket contest Thursday morning at Ellig Sports Complex.
The Mastodons (39-13) tied the game on a catcher’s interference in the sixth and won it on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. They advance to take on the winner of North Dakota State and IUPUI at noon Friday for the right to play in the championship game. Fort Wayne has won 10 in a row.
The Coyotes (29-21) will have to win three times in the loser’s bracket to reach the championship games. They start that journey tonight at 5:30 p.m. against the loser of NDSU and IUPUI.
South Dakota belted four home runs to build its lead and knocked out Summit League Pitcher of the Year Miranda Kramer in the process. Katie Dinning hit a two-run homer in the third to give USD a 2-1 lead. Allie Daly led off the fourth with a homer and Lindsey Boyd’s solo shot in the fifth made it 4-1. Katie Cochran hit a three-run shot off reliever Megan Flenniken that made it 8-3.
USD issued two walks and hit a batter before giving up a grand slam to Larissa Franklin that made it 8-7 with one out in the seventh. Two walks and a hit batter reloaded the bases and the tying run came home when catcher’s interference was called during Audrey Minta’s at bat.
Kayti Hanson led off the seventh with a single for Fort Wayne. A throwing error on a sacrifice bunt put two on with nobody out. Franklin popped out to short for the first out. Ashleigh Bousquet was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Dani Pugh walked to score Hanson from third.
Courtesy: USD Bryan Boettcher