BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) – South Dakota State took all three games of its series over North Dakota State by completing back-to-back victories on Monday, April 17, at Jackrabbit Softball Stadium. SDSU defeated NDSU 12-3 in five innings to begin the day, then completed the series sweep by earning a 1-0 win in the finale.
“NDSU is a phenomenal opponent,” South Dakota State head coach Kristina McSweeny said. “I thought they were well-rounded, really good offensively.
“What we’ve been doing better throughout the season and especially this series, we don’t panic. In big situations, we know what to do with the ball because we’ve been in those situations so much.”
Game 1 (Doubleheader)
North Dakota State held two separate leads over South Dakota State before the Jacks busted the game open with a 10-run fourth inning en route to a 12-3 win in the second game of the series.
The Bison opened the contest by scoring the first two runs on a two-run double by Bella Dean in the top of the first. The Jacks responded quickly to tie the score in the bottom of the first. Two walks and an infield error loaded the bases. Following a pop up, Emma Osmundson came to the plate for the Jacks with two outs. She hit a single to left field driving in Mia Jarecki and Rozelyn Carrillo.
Following a scoreless second inning, NDSU’s Carley Goetschius hit a leadoff solo home run in the top of the third to make it 3-2. Bison starting pitcher Lainey Lyle kept the score in favor of NDSU in the third, however SDSU took advantage of a miscue to plate a season-high inning run total in the fourth.
Lindsey Culver got the bottom of the inning started with a double, but the Jacks had their next two hitters get out in the inning. An Alexa Williams walk put two runners on. Brooke Dumont came up next for the Jacks and hit a pop up in the infield. The ball was dropped by NDSU’s Goetschius at third base and the tying run scored on the play.
The next batter was Jarecki who squared up a pitch and drove a three-run home run over the left-field fence. It began an SDSU offensive onslaught that featured an Allison Yoder single, Rozelyn Carrillo single, a Jocelyn Carrillo RBI single, a two-run Culver double, an Osmundson RBI single, a triple that scored a run by Alli Boyle and finally an RBI double by Williams.
SDSU’s inning ended by scoring 10 runs on nine hits and one error. Lasey’s day was done in the circle as she pitched four innings and gave up three runs on five hits. She struck out five batters and walked two. She improved to 10-6 and gave way in the fifth to Williams who threw a 1-2-3 inning which included two strikeouts.
The Jacks took the contest by run rule.
Jarecki and Osmundson had team highs with three RBIs apiece. Lyle, NDSU’s starting pitcher, dropped to 10-5 on the season. In her 3 2/3 innings of work, all nine runs she gave up were unearned.
Game 2 (Doubleheader)
Hits came at a premium in the series finale as the Jackrabbits were effective in the clutch to come away with a 1-0 win over the Bison.
Starters Tori Kniesche of South Dakota State and Paige Vargas of North Dakota State were dominant. The two would eventually combine to give up six hits over the course of the contest.
SDSU’s best early opportunity came in the first when a Yoder double and two walks loaded the bases for the Jackrabbits in the bottom of the first. Vargas got NDSU out of the inning by forcing a pop up and flyout to consecutive batters.
NDSU got two runners on each of the fifth and sixth innings, but each time Kniesche got the Jackrabbits out of the potential threat.
The Jackrabbits capitalized in the bottom of the sixth. Jocelyn Carrillo hit a one-out single, then after a fly out put two outs on the board, Carrillo advanced on consecutive passed balls to advance to third base. Osmundson continued her strong weekend by hitting a single through the right side of the infield to plate Carrillo and put the Jacks ahead 1-0.
SDSU’s defense made a spectacular play to maintain its advantage in the seventh. NDSU’s lead-off hitter Ava Chavarria walked then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Chloe Woldruff came to the plate and laced a single to right field and the Bison made the decision to send Chavarria home. SDSU’s Osmundson threw a strike to home easily beating Chavarria. The Bison runner tried to retreat to third base, SDSU’s catcher Yoder chased her down to put the tag on and get the second out of the inning.
Kniesche eventually closed the game out by forcing a fly out and complete the SDSU sweep of NDSU.
The Jacks produced just four hits in the contest led by Osmundson’s RBI single. Osmundson went 5-for-9 in the series at the plate along with her game-saving outfield assist on Monday.
“You don’t want to move your second-best hitter down, but I thought in the sixth spot it put her in an RBI situation which I think she’s good in,” McSweeney said of Osmundson. “It also took a little pressure off her. It let her relax and let somebody else hit in the second slot and she really flourished this series.”
Kniesche improved to 17-4 overall by allowing just two hits in the series finale. She struck out 12 batters and walked four. Kniesche has now went 54 1/3 innings without allowing a run in the circle.
- South Dakota State is now 27-15 overall and 9-0 in Summit League play. NDSU dropped to 23-16 (7-5).
- The series sweep for the Jackrabbits improved their active winning streak to 11 games over the Bison.
South Dakota State is scheduled to travel to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to face the Fighting Hawks in a three-game series slated to begin on April 22.