BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — South Dakota State softball pushed its winning streak to six with a doubleheader sweep of Creighton Tuesday. The Jackrabbits took a 1-0 pitcher’s duel to start the day, then walked off on an extra-innings home run in the finale to claim an 8-7 victory.
SDSU improved to 31-12 with the sweep in their final nonleague games of the regular season.
Game One: South Dakota State 1, Creighton 0
Kendra Conard (12-2) was strong in her seventh complete game of the season, scattering five hits and a pair of walks over seven innings with six strikeouts.
Peyton Daugherty, Baily Janssen and Peyton Daugherty logged hits for the Jackrabbit offense, as Ponce drove in the game-winning run for the third time in the last four games.
Scoreless through five innings in a fast-paced affair, SDSU broke the stalemate in the bottom of the sixth behind a Ponce RBI double. Daugherty reached on a one-out single up the middle to give the Jacks a baserunner, and in the next at-bat Ponce sent the first pitch she saw towards the right field fence. Daugherty wheeled all the way around from first on the play, beating a relay to the plate for the only score of the day.
The Jacks had a scoring opportunity in the third after a Janssen single and a fielder’s choice from Daugherty, and Creighton came close with runners on first and third in the fifth inning, but neither team was able to push a run across in the middle innings.
The Bluejays had one more chance after a single, a Jackrabbit error and a hit batter in the top of the seventh, but Conard and the Jackrabbit defense got a strikeout and a ground ball to seal the win.
Game Two: South Dakota State 8, Creighton 7 (Eight innings)
Morgan DeMarais started in the circle, exiting in the fifth after allowing two runs on three hits with two strikeouts. Emma Hardin entered and threw the next 1.2 innings, giving way to Taylor Compton after Creighton scored three more runs. Compton pitched the rest of the way and allowed two runs, improving to 8-4 behind a three-strikeout effort.
After seeing their early advantage slip away, the Jackrabbits saw Ali Herdliska break out of a brief slump with a solo home run in the eighth, lifting SDSU to the win as she launched a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence.
Daugherty, Janssen and Julia Andersen had doubles for the Jacks, as Daugherty and Janssen joined Ponce and Mallory McQuistan with two-hit performances. Janssen drove in three runs, McQuistan had a pair of RBIs.
SDSU fired out of the gates in the day’s finale, opening up a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first behind six Jackrabbit hits. Daugherty and Ponce started the inning with back-to-back singles, and after two quick outs Andersen began the scoring with a two-RBI double off the right field wall.
Lyndsey Crist and McQuistan followed with singles to make it 3-0 as Andersen came home, and with runners on the corners Janssen sent a 1-0 pitch down the line in left for her fourth double of the season.
The Bluejays pulled within one (4-3) with a fifth-inning rally, using a two-run home run and a two-out RBI single to get on the board. SDSU, though, responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to push its advantage back to four (7-3).
After Crist drew a one-out walk, McQuistan moved her to third (and took second on the throw) with a single to left. Janssen brought both runners in with a single up the middle, and after a throw to the plate carried Janssen to second, she came around to score when Erin Mullen drove a ball of her own back into center.
Creighton kept charging, however, and after scoring two runs in the top of the sixth, tied it in the seventh with a one-out, two-run home run.
Even at 7-7, Herdliska’s eighth-inning blast ended the game in walk-off fashion, helping State improve to 3-1 in extra-inning games.
- South Dakota State reached the 30-win plateau for the second year in a row, accomplishing the feat in back-to-back seasons for the second time in program history.
- Ali Herdliska (44 home runs) is now four shy of Bridget Maxwell’s record of 48, set with Western Illinois (1997, 98-00). Her 12 home runs this season places her in a tie for third in the Jackrabbit single-season record books.
- Julia Andersen (41 doubles) is one two-bagger away from joining the Summit League’s top-20 in career doubles.
- Yanney Ponce has three game-winning RBIs in the past six games.
South Dakota State heads to Grand Forks, North Dakota this weekend for a three-game set against North Dakota. The Jackrabbits and Fighting Hawks play a noon doubleheader Saturday before the finale Sunday at 11 a.m.