ORLANDO, F.L. (SDSU) – Kelsey Lenox doubled in Rozelyn Carrillo with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Jackrabbits prevailed 5-4 over Villanova in the wild conclusion of a suspended game Sunday at the NCAA Softball Tournament’s Orlando Regional.

SDSU, 41-12 overall, will immediately face Michigan in another elimination game, with the winner of that contest facing No. 16 overall seed Central Florida in the championship round later on Sunday. Michigan defeated the Jackrabbits, 2-1, in opening-roujnd action on Friday.

After play was halted Saturday night, the game resumed at 10 a.m. Sunday in the top of the sixth inning with the game tied at 1-all. Villanova grabbed a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh when Megan Kern lined a single up the middle with the bases loaded to score Paige Rauch. The relay throw home was misplayed to allow a second run to score and the throw back to home plate was errant, leading to the third run on the play for the Wildcats.

The Jackrabbits came right back, however, to tie the game at 4-all and send it to extra innings. Allison Yoder, Peyton Daugherty and Emma Osmundson opened the inning with consecutive singles, with Yoder scoring on Osmundson’s hit down the third-base line. After Rozelyn Carrillo was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, Cylie Halvorson drew a walk to force in a run and Lenox delivered the tying run with a single to center field. Lenox’s hit came after SDSU succesfully challenged a call in which Lenox was ruled to have fouled off a preceding pitch.

Villanova was able to prevent the winning run from scoring in the seventh inning as the next three Jackrabbit hitters were retired on a strikeout and pair of groundouts.

Grace Glanzer entered to pitch in the eighth inning and tossed two scoreless innings before the Jackrabbits put together the game-winning rally in the ninth. Carrillo began the ninth with a single to right field, setting the stage two batters later for Lenox, who lined a double to the fence in left-center that scored Carrillo from first base.

The Jackrabbits finished with a 12-3 advantage in hits as Daugherty and Lenox each tallied three hits. Yoder and Carrillo both collected two hits.

SDSU starter Tori Kniesche struck out 14 batters, but walked eight and hit two over the first seven innings.

GAME 2

Michigan pitcher Alex Storako struck out 12 batters and took a shutout into the seventh inning to lead the Wolverines to a 4-1 victory over South Dakota State, ending the Jackrabbits’ season at the NCAA Softball Tournament Sunday afternoon at the UCF Sports Complex.

In defeating SDSU for the second time in the double-elimination regional, Michigan improved to 38-16 and advanced to the championship round against host Central Florida. The Jackrabbits, who were making their second consecutive NCAA appearance, closed out the year with a 41-13 record.

The Wolverines scored an unearned run in the first inning and upped their lead to 4-0 an inning later as Kristina Burkhardt connected for a three-run home run off SDSU starter Grace Glanzer.

That would prove to be more than enough run support for Storako, who held SDSU to only one hit — a second-inning single by Rozelyn Carrillo — through the first six innings.

After rallying for three runs in the seventh inning to send their game against Villanova to extra innings earlier in the day, the Jackrabbits again scored in the final frame on a leadoff home run by Cylie Halvorson, but Storako retired the next three hitters to preserve the 4-1 victory. Halvorson’s home run was her 19th of the season, tying her own single-season school record set in 2021.

Michigan’s eight-hit attack was led by Audrey LeClair, who went 2-for-4.

Glanzer worked the first four innings for the Jackrabbits, taking the loss after walking three and striking out one. The Summit League Pitcher of the Year, she ended the season with a 21-7 record after factoring in the decision in all three of SDSU’s tournament games.

Tori Kniesche pitched the final three innings, striking out one and walking one while scattering four hits in not allowing a run.

NOTES

  • SDSU dropped to 2-4 in NCAA Tournament games at the Division I level
  • Halvorson’s home run was the 40th of her career, four of which have been hit in NCAA Tournament contests
    The Jackrabbits tallied a school-record 76 home runs in 2022
  • Rozelyn Carrillo ended the 2022 season with a team-best .389 batting average, after her sister, Jocelyn, led the team with a .418 average a year ago
  • Kniesche finished with a Jackrabbit single-season record of 268 strikeouts, breaking the previous mark of 255 set by Allison Sempsis in 2000