The South Dakota State softball team returned to its home field on Friday against Omaha, but the Mavericks stole the day, sweeping both games of The Summit League doubleheader, winning Game 1 by a 6-0 score and completing the sweep with an 11-2, six inning in Game 2.
The losses drop the Jackrabbits to 7-28 on the season overall and to 2-12 in the league, while the Mavericks improve to 25-15 overall and to 6-5 in the league.
The opener started as a pitchers duel, with both hurlers tossing scoreless softball into the sixth, but that’s when the Mavericks broke it all up, plating four runs on four hits to take a 4-0 lead.
KayCee Miller got a one-out hit in the bottom of the sixth, but got thrown out at second trying to steal, thus ending the threat.
Omaha added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, and starter Dana Elsasser sat the Jacks down in order in the seventh to secure her 20th win of the season. She scattered four hits, with six strikeouts and one walk in the win.
Ashlyn Bender took the loss for the Jacks after giving up six runs on six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and six walks in the loss.
The Mavericks wasted no time in taking a commanding lead in Game 2, as Lizzie Noble cracked a three-run homer in the top of the first to give Omaha an early 3-0 lead.
Omaha added five more in the in the second on five hits and one SDSU error to go up 8-0 after two complete.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Sammy Bingham hit her team-leading fourth triple of the season, and then scored in the next at-bat when Emily Utech hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Bingham from third.
SDSU added an unearned run in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-2, but Omaha’s Nicole Warren answered with a pinch-hit three-run homer over the left field fence to put the Mavs up 11-2.
Cheyenne Baxter got the win in the circle, giving up two runs, one earned on three hits in six innings with a walk and a strikeout. Katie Lang took the loss for the Jacks.
SDSU looks to avoid the sweep on Saturday, when the same two teams meet at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium in the series finale at noon.
Courtesy: Ryan Sweeter, SDSU