SUMMIT SOFTBALL: SDSU returns to tournament title game with wins over USD & NDSU
Jacks defeat Coyotes 5-3 and then follow with 2-0 semifinal win over Bison
VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After two days of severe weather, a venue change and 115 mile trip to Vermillion, the top-seeded South Dakota State softball team finally got to open play at the Summit League Tournament on Saturday.
And they flexed their muscle as defending champion and favorite to repeat.
Opening the day at 9:00 AM against arch rival South Dakota, now the tournament host at Nygaard Field after the conference was unable to resume play in Brookings due to damage from Thursday’s Derecho, the Jackrabbits defeat the Coyotes 5-3 on the strength of a five run fourth inning highlighted by a grand slam from Jocelyn Carrillo.
Carrillo’s homerun, her fifth of the year, came with two outs and on a 3-2 pitch. SDSU had earlier tied the game when Lindsey Culver was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and nobody out.
USD had opened the game’s scoring with a solo homerun in the second inning from Jordyn Pender. The Coyotes pulled to within two in the sixth inning on a two-run double from Gabby Moser. Pender came to the plate as the go-ahead run that inning yet was struck out by Grace Glanzer and the Coyotes never threatened in their final at-bat.
Glanzer improved to 20-4 on the season after working seven innings and allowing five hits, three runs, striking out seven and walking one.
USD’s Grace Garcia worked six innings allowing five hits, five runs, striking out four and walking one.
After a break of several hours SDSU returned to Nygaard Field for the semifinal with North Dakota State. Three batters into the game Cylie Halvorson ripped a two-run homerun that would prove to be all the Jacks needed in a 2-0 victory over the Bison which secured their spot in tomorrow’s championship game.
Tori Kniesche was dominant on the mound in improving to 17-5. She worked all seven innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 10.
SDSU will face Omaha for the championship and Summit League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM. By virtue of the Jackrabbits being undefeated in the double elimination tournament UNO will have to beat State twice. Should the Mavericks win the opener a second, winner-take-all title game will follow shortly after the conclusion of game one.
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