The South Dakota State softball team closed the regular season on Saturday with a split against former Summit League foe Kansas City. The visiting Kangaroos outlasted the Jackrabbits 7-1 in 11 innings in the opener, while the Jacks earned the split with a 2-0 win in the nightcap.
SDSU ends the regular season with an 11-34 overall record, while UMKC ends its regular season with a 19-34 mark.
In a game tied for the longest game in its Division I history, SDSU fell behind early in Game 1, as the Kangaroos scored a single run in the first and two more in the second to take the early 3-0 lead.
That lead stood until the bottom of the fifth, when Devan Larsen made the ‘Roos pay for an error with a three-run, no doubt, homerun over the left field fence to tie the game at 3-3.
The score remained 3-3 until the top of the 11 inning, when UMKC broke the deadlock with four runs on one hit and one SDSU error to go up 7-3.
The Jacks didn’t go down quietly though, as Elyse Eitel opened the bottom of the 11th with a two-run shot to center field, scoring herself and Larsen, who opened the inning on second base as part of the international tiebreaker rule.
SDSU got the tying run to the plate in the frame, but could not push another run across.
Both pitchers went the distance in the game, with Cinda Ramos earning the win, giving up 5 runs, one earned, on nine hits and five strikeouts with no walks. Ashlyn Bender suffered the loss; giving up seven runs, five earned, on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Vanessa Kellems opened the scoring in Game 2 with a solo blast over the right field fence, her second homer of the season, which gave SDSU the only run it would need.
The Jacks added an insurance run in the fifth, capitalizing on an Emily Weber double to open the inning, which looked like a routine single, before the senior stretched it into a double.
Weber advanced to third on a KayCee Miller sacrifice bunt, and then scored the insurance run two batters later on a Sammy Bingham single to left.
Jennifer Sutton took care of the rest, pitching around a leadoff double in the sixth when the Kangaroos stranded three. The sophomore scattered five hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks to complete the Jackrabbits first shutout of the season.
The regular season in the books, the Jackrabbits return to action on Wednesday at The Summit League Championships in Fargo, N.D., as the No. 6 seed, and take on No. 3 seed South Dakota at 3 p.m.
Courtesy: Ryan Sweeter, SDSU