GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The South Dakota State softball team split a doubleheader on Wednesday on a cold and miserable day in Grand Forks, N.D., dropping the opener to North Dakota 6-4, but coming back to win the nightcap 5-2 in eight innings.
The split gives the Jackrabbits a 10-33 record heading into this weekend’s regular season finale against Kansas City, while North Dakota ends the day with a 5-37 overall mark.
Elyse Eitel opened the scoring in the second inning of Game 1 with a solo blast over the left field fence, her third homer of the year, giving SDSU a 1-0 lead.
UND got that run, plus two more, back in the third to take a 3-1 lead, but Devan Larsen tied the game up in the fourth with her team-leading fifth homerun of the season, a two-run shot to left field that tied the game at 3-3.
The lead didn’t last though, as UND came back with two of its own in the fourth and added an insurance run in the sixth, and held SDSU to an RBI single from Alyssa D’Agostino in the sixth.
Ashlyn Bender took the loss in the opener, giving up six runs, three earned, over six innings, with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
The home team scored first in Game 2, plating a pair of runs on three hits to take the early 2-0 lead.
The Jacks halved that lead in the fifth on a Kelly Kleppin RBI single that scored Sammy Bingham, and then tied the game in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Lauren Chirnside that scored Emily Utech from third base.
The score stayed 2-2 until the top of the eighth, when the Jackrabbits rallied for three runs. Eitel drew a one-out walk to get it started, which brought up D’Agostino, who doubled home Eitel to put SDSU up 3-2.
Mikayla Akers came in to run for D’Agostino, and promptly scored on an Emily Weber double in the next at-bat. Two batters later, Jessica Markanich got in on the action, belting a single to center field that scored Weber to put SDSU on top 5-2.
Jennifer Sutton sat down North Dakota in order in the eighth inning to preserve the complete game win. She gave up two runs, none of them earned, on four hits, with six walks and four strikeouts.
The Jacks look to start a winning streak on Saturday, when they finish the regular season with a doubleheader against the Kangaroos of UMKC. The senior day festivities get started at noon.
Courtesy: SDSU Ryan Sweeter