SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SDSU) – It took 14 innings, South Dakota State’s longest played game in its softball program’s history, but the Jackrabbits were buoyed by a superb pitching performance and eventually walked off with the extra innings 1-0 victory over Omaha at Bowden Field on Saturday.
For the second time in the three-game series, the starters in the circle were dominant as SDSU’s Tori Kniesche and Omaha’s Kamryn Meyer controlled the matchup.
Omaha’s best opportunity came right at the outset of the contest. A walk and single began the top of the first, however a 5-3 double play started by the Jackrabbits’ Cheyanne Masterson inched SDSU closer to getting out of the frame. A hit by pitch, followed by a passed ball, put runners on second and third with two outs. Kniesche was able to pick up a strikeout looking to get out of the jam.
The Mavericks wouldn’t get another runner to reach third base.
SDSU threatened to score in both the bottom of the sixth and eighth innings.
Singles by Rozelyn Carrillo and Jocelyn Carrillo put SDSU runners on second and third with one out. Lindsey Culver came up to bat and grounded out to the pitcher. The ensuing play saw Rozelyn Carrillo get caught in a run down and tagged out at third. A throw to second to try catch Culver trying to take the base was cut off and sent home as Jocelyn Carrillo tried to score. A strong throw caught her as she reached for the plate, ending the inning with the game still scoreless.
The eighth inning saw the Jackrabbits again have the Carrillos get on base. The two eventually reached second and third, while a Brooke Dumont walk loaded the bases. Alli Boyle came up with two outs and struck a line drive to right field, but was caught.
Meyer and Kniesche combined to give up just 10 hits in nine innings pitched. While Meyer’s day ended after nine innings – having given up five hits and seven walks along with four strikeouts – Kniesche’s day continued.
The Jackrabbit junior pitcher eventually rattled off a program-record 14 innings in the circle. She went just over 200 pitches in the game and finished the day giving up six hits and five walks while striking out 15 batters.
Her day looked to be over as she came back to the dugout in the middle of the 14th and head coach Kristina McSweeney gave her an embrace to put a cap on a tremendous effort.
SDSU’s lineup came up and did enough to provide Kniesche with a victory in the bottom of the 14th.
Chiara Bassi began the frame with a single and she was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mia Jarecki. Emma Osmundson came to the plate with one out. She hit an infield single to the Omaha shortstop whose throw to first was errant and found its way out of play. That moved the runner advancing to third across home plate and gave the Jackrabbits the win over the Mavericks.
- The Jackrabbits improved to 23-14 overall and 6-0 in Summit League play with the series sweep over Omaha. The Mavericks dropped to 18-13 (4-4).
- Kniesche earned her third win in the circle for the Jackrabbits on the weekend. Her record improved to 15-4 and her season ERA improved to 1.93. Omaha’s Sydney Nuismer, who pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief, took the loss. She gave up the one unearned run in the 14th.
- SDSU’s lineup was led by multi-hit showings by the Carrillos and Bassi.
- The 14-inning affair in Sioux Falls was the longest in SDSU’s history by three innings. It also is tied for the longest game in Division I softball this season.
South Dakota State is scheduled to travel to Ames, Iowa, for a doubleheader that’s slated to begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, against Iowa State.