VERMILLION, S.D. (SDSU) – South Dakota State softball (40-11) punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament Sunday with a 5-0 victory over No. 2-seed Omaha (32-14) in the Summit League championship game.
The Jackrabbits capitalized on a Maverick error to plate one in the third, added three in the fifth and tacked on one more insurance run in the seventh for the shutout victory. Tori Kniesche set a new league tournament contest record with 16 strikeouts, the second highest total of her career, in the complete-game effort.
The sophomore pitcher was dominant from the start, tallying three K’s in the opening frame and going on to give up only one walk, one hit and one hit by pitch. Kniesche was named the Summit League Tournament MVP.
Rozelyn Carrillo knocked a sacrifice fly in the third inning to plate Peyton Daugherty from third base as the winning run. Daugherty singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, followed by a wild pitch that sent her to third, setting up the score.
Daugherty put down a picture-perfect sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning and reached on a Maverick throwing error. The play resulted in a run by Allison Yoder to double the Jacks’ lead. Carrillo reached on a fielder’s choice on the next at-bat and Cylie Halvorson sent a two-RBI homer to center field for the 4-0 lead.
Brooke Dumont added one more SDSU run in the seventh. After doubling down the left field line and advancing to third on a wild pitch, the freshman was send home by an Emma Osmundson single to wrap up the scoring.
Kniesche was joined on the all-tournament team by Osmundson, Halvorson, Grace Glanzer and Jocelyn Carrillo.
The Jackrabbits opened the day with a 3-0 loss to the Mavericks, which forced a winner-take-all game in the afternoon. The victory marks the second time in as many seasons the Jackrabbits earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Jackrabbits will travel to the Orlando Regional to take on Michigan Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Jacks and the Wolverines will be joined by host UCF and Orlando in the four-team, double-elimination tournament.