ST. PAUL, Minn. – South Dakota State’s pitching staff gave up a combined three hits in a softball doubleheader at St. Thomas on Sunday helping lead the Jackrabbits to 2-0 and 4-1 victories over the Tommies at South Field.
SDSU threatened in multiple early innings, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard as the Jackrabbits made their first competitive appearance in two weeks.
The Jacks got two runners on in each of the first four innings. Three of those innings saw a runner reach third base, but the Tommies found a way to get out of each frame and kept the margin scoreless.
South Dakota State finally took advantage in the fifth. Mia Jarecki led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch, then was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emma Osmundson. Rozelyn Carrillo followed and hit an RBI single for the first run of the day. Allison Yoder came up next and hit a single to put runners on the corners. A Jocelyn Carrillo RBI single scored Rozelyn and the Jacks took a 2-0 lead into the bottom half.
Starting pitcher Tori Kniesche had just one runner reach third base before allowing her first hit of the game in the fifth. The Tommies got two runners on in the frame, but Kniesche ended the threat with a strikeout.
St. Thomas’s best opportunity came in the sixth. Two walks drawn and a hit by pitch saw the Tommies load the bases with two outs. Kniesche was able to get the Jacks out of the jam by forcing a foul pop-out.
Kniesche eventually allowed a single in the seventh, but the Tommies were unable to do anything at the plate to close the gap.
SDSU’s starter improved to 11-4 by not giving up a run and allowing just two hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters. St. Thomas hung in with the Jacks by walking six times off Kniesche.
The Jackrabbits finished with 10 hits in the ballgame. Both Carrillos, Yoder and Lindsey Culver recorded multi-hit showings.
St. Thomas was the first team on the board in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Lead-off hitter Avery Wukawitz opened the bottom of the first with a single then stole second base. She then advanced to third on a groundout. Brooke Ellestad hit a single at the three-spot and while the play remained live, caused a run-down in the base paths. It eventually led to Wukawitz racing home and beating a throw to the plate to make it 1-0 for the Tommies.
St. Thomas held on to the lead for a full inning, however SDSU took it from the Tommies for good in the third.
Rozelyn Carrillo and Yoder hit back-to-back one out singles. A Jozelyn Carrillo fly out moved both Jacks into scoring position. Culver came up with two outs and laced a pitch down the left-field line and completed a two-run double to put the Jackrabbits ahead 2-1.
SDSU starting pitcher Shannon Lasey was nearly perfect the rest of her outing in the circle.
Lasey didn’t allow a runner for a three-inning stretch. Her toughest inning came in the sixth when a walk and hit by pitch set the Tommies up with two runners on with one out. Lasey eventually forced a fielder’s choice and groundout to turn it back to the SDSU lineup.
The Jacks extended their lead by picking up a run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice bunt by Alli Boyle. They made it a 4-1 margin in the seventh as a leadoff walk by Yoder was eventually plated on an RBI single by Brooke Dumont.
Lasey completed a 1-2-3 seventh to close out another complete game for the Jackrabbit starter. She improved to 8-6 for South Dakota State as she gave up just one run on one hit and two walks. Lasey struck out six Tommies.
Alexa Williams had a team-high two hits for SDSU as the team combined for nine in the second game of the doubleheader.
- The Jackrabbits improved to 19-14 overall and earned their first two wins in Summit League play. The Tommies fell to 8-23 and have dropped their first four conference games.
- Kniesche improved her team-leading ERA to 2.52 with her ninth complete game of the season. She has thrown six shutouts. Lasey picked up her third shutout as a Jackrabbit and improved her ERA to 3.42.
- Jarecki continues to lead the Jackrabbit lineup with a .347 batting average through 33 games.
- Jocelyn Carrillo, Rozelyn Carrillo, Allison Yoder and Lindsey Culver had three hits apiece between the two games for SDSU.
South Dakota State is slated to finish the three-game series versus St. Thomas on Monday. First pitch between the Jackrabbits and Tommies is scheduled for 1 p.m. at South Field.