FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (SDSU) – South Dakota State’s most successful softball season in program history reached its end Saturday night with a 2-1, 10-inning loss to Stanford at the NCAA Division I Softball Championship’s Fayetteville Regional.
The Summit League-champion Jackrabbits ended the year with a 43-8 overall record, matching a school record for wins set by the 1996 squad (43-22). Stanford improved to 33-21 overall and will face No. 6 national seed and host Arkansas in the regional championship Sunday afternoon.
Stanford’s Kristina Inouye started the game-winning rally in the 10th inning with a leadoff walk. After the Jackrabbits failed to finish a double play on a popup bunt, the Cardinal took advantage as Taylor Gindlesperger drew a two-out walk and Eleni Spriakis followed with a base hit up the middle that scored pinch-runner Sydney Steele. It would be the third and final hit of the night by Stanford off SDSU starter Tori Kniesche.
Cylie Halvorson kept the Jackrabbits’ hopes alive in the bottom of the 10th by roping a two-out double down the left-field line, but Stanford pitcher Alana Vawter induced a groundout to second base off the bat of Kelsey Lenox to end the game.
The Jackrabbits struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the third inning on a Jocelyn Carrillo single through the left side that plated Emma Osmundson.
Stanford came back to tie the game the next half inning, taking advantage of some wildness by Kniesche. Gindlesperger led off with a base hit to left center, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on the second wild pitch of the inning.
The two starters settled in from there, with Kniesche holding the Cardinal without another hit until the ninth inning. Vawter, who was roughed up by the Jackrabbits in their meeting on Friday, was equal to the task as she allowed five hits, while walking four and striking out six.
Kniesche, who finished her freshman season with a 21-2 record, struck out eight and walked four in a 10-inning effort.
- The all-time series between Stanford and South Dakota State is tied at one win apiece
- SDSU lost a one-run game for the first time this season, finishing 8-1, while dropping to 2-1 in extra-inning games
- The Jackrabbits suffered back-to-back losses for the only time in 2021
- Kniesche moved into third place on the Jackrabbit single-season strikeouts chart with 186
- Jocelyn Carrillo reached base safely for the 22nd consecutive game
- Carrillo ended the season with an SDSU single-season record .813 slugging percentage, while Halvorson’s .770 slugging percentage ranks second
- Halvorson set a new Jackrabbit single-season record with 127 total bases, with her 59 runs batted in ranking as the second-most by a Jackrabbit in a season
- Peyton Daugherty’s 65 hits in 2021 rank third on the SDSU single-season charts
- Kniesche had her 17-game winning streak snapped, dating back to a March 10 victory at Kansas