SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SDSU) – South Dakota State softball completed walk-off and comeback victories on Friday in a doubleheader against Omaha. The Jackrabbits won 1-0 in eight innings to begin the three-game Summit League series, then defeated the Mavericks 5-4 in the second game between the two foes at Augustana’s Bowden Field.
The opening contest between the Jacks and Mavs was the epitome of a pitcher’s duel.
Starting pitchers Tori Kniesche of SDSU and Kamryn Meyer of Omaha both completed strong efforts in the circle.
Omaha had the first opportunity to score in game. A walk and two hit by pitches gave the Mavericks a bases-loaded situation with two outs in the top of the first. Kniesche worked her way out of the jam with a strikeout.
SDSU’s chance early to get on the board came in the bottom of the second. A Lindsey Culver single and Brooke Dumont put two runners on with one out. The two Jacks eventually advanced to second and third, but were left stranded.
The two pitchers cruised through the next few innings. Kniesche and Meyer combined to give up just five hits through the first seven innings of play.
The matchup made its way into extra innings. Kniesche put a cap on a masterful day in the circle by registering two strikeouts in the top half of the eighth and finish with a season-high 18 strikeouts. Her punch-out total was the second most in a single game in program history, trailing only her 20-strikeout effort she completed last season at home against St. Thomas.
South Dakota State finally found the game-winning run in the bottom half of the frame.
Mia Jarecki led off the eighth with a single to right field. With one out, Rozelyn Carrillo drove a strike all the way to the left field warning track. Her at-bat nearly ended up up over the fence, but her flyout set up the game winner as Jarecki advanced on the play to second.
Jocelyn Carrillo stepped in as the cleanup hitter and delivered. SDSU’s centerfielder crushed a shot down the left field line plating Jarecki and giving the Jackrabbits their second walk-off hit of the 2023 season.
Kniesche earned the complete game shutout and win by giving up just two hits. She walked two batters and hit three, but was dominant in the late stages of the outing. Meyer was almost as impressive. She allowed five hits and walked four batters while striking out 10 Jackrabbits.
SDSU’s lineup featured a multi-hit game by Jocelyn Carrillo and included a hit by Emma Osmundson and Rozelyn Carrillo.
The second game of the doubleheader also came down to each team’s final at-bat.
Each team’s lineup came alive at the plate and the two squads were knotted at 3-3 after three innings. Both starting pitchers in Shannon Lasey (SDSU) and Sydney Nuismer (Omaha) got into grooves over the next two innings before the scoreboard changed again.
The top of the sixth saw the Mavs take a 4-3 lead. A lead-off eventually drawn by Cramer eventually made its away around to score on a sacrifice fly by Aden to give Omaha the advantage.
SDSU began the bottom of the sixth with Culver reaching base on a throwing error. Dumont came up next and bunted her way on with a single. Following an out, Chiara Bassi came on and singled as a pinch hitter and loaded the bases. Emma Christensen came on to pinch run for Dumont before a strikeout made it two outs in the inning as the lineup moved to the top of the order.
Jarecki followed with a single just off the glove of the Maverick shortstop. Culver easily scored and Christensen hustled around from second to score and put the Jackrabbits ahead 5-4 before ending the inning.
Kniesche, who came on in relief in the sixth, got three consecutive outs in the seventh to close out another victory for SDSU.
Lasey threw 5 1/3 innings for the Jacks. She gave up just two hits but was hampered by eight walks. Omaha’s Nuismer took the loss by giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits.
Jarecki was SDSU’s lone player with a multi-hit game as she recorded three. Alli Boyle added two RBIs for the Jacks on an RBI triple in the second inning. Rozelyn Carrillo had an RBI double in the third.
- The Jackrabbits improved to 22-14 overall and 5-0 in Summit League play with two wins over Omaha. The Mavericks dropped to 18-12 (4-2).
- Kniesche picked up both wins for SDSU in the circle and is now 14-4 on the season.
South Dakota State closes out the three-game series against Omaha at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Bowden Field.