VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota reached the 30-win mark for the first time since 2009 after winning a pair of games against former Summit League foe UMKC by scores of 5-4 and 5-1 Tuesday at Nygaard Field.
It is the sixth time South Dakota (30-18) has won 30 games in a season. The Coyotes also set a new mark for consecutive home wins in a single season with 11, one more than the 10 straight the team won in 2015.
USD jumped on UMKC with three runs in the bottom of the first inning of the opener. Jessica Rogers delivered a two-run single up the middle and Skylar Arellano following suit with a run-scoring single to left.
UMKC (25-20) responded with three runs in the top of the second inning, but the Coyotes regained the lead in the third. Alyssa Fernandez led off the frame with a single, Jamie Holscher doubled and Rogers made it 4-3 with a base hit that scored Fernandez. Lauren Wobken’s squeeze bunt later in the inning plated Holscher to make it 5-3.
South Dakota pitcher Alexis Devers entered in relief in the third inning and allowed one run on four hits over the final five innings to get the win. She had one strikeout and one walk.
Rogers was again the catalyst in game two. She belted her sixth home run of the season, a two-run blast to center field, in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 2-0. Ashtyn Blakeman made it 3-0 later in the inning with a base hit. Lauren Eamiguel tripled and scored as part of a two-run fifth that made it 5-0.
Coyote starter Dustie Durham was dominant in pitching her 10th complete game of the season. An unearned run in the final inning prevented her sixth shutout. She allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one.
Rogers, an all-region catcher a year ago, has hit safely in five straight. In that span, she is 9-for-15 (.600) with three home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs.
South Dakota returns to Summit League play Friday for a first-place showdown with defending champion North Dakota State (30-12, 8-1 Summit). It is the final home series of the season for the Coyotes, who will honor their five seniors following Saturday’s game three. The teams will play a noon doubleheader Friday and a single game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
USD and NDSU are the only teams in the standings with one loss. The Coyotes have played one more series and have three more wins in the Summit than the Bison. South Dakota State is third in the standings with a 5-4 mark.