After going 1-2 at home, the University of South Dakota softball team traveled to Ames, Iowa to improve its record in a doubleheader split against the Iowa State Cyclones.
Over the weekend, the 40 mph winds made for a hitting craze at Nygaard Field, but the Coyote softball team was unable to pull out a win in a Summit League series against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Head coach Amy Klyse said the outcome isn’t what the team was hoping for.
“We’ve been spending time going over what we did well rather than dwelling on those losses,” she said. “This past weekend wasn’t our strongest outing for our pitchers, but if get back on track there, our game will improve.”
The two teams combined for 62 hits and 48 runs during the three games.
Sophomore left fielder Katie Cochran hit a three-run home run, and senior third baseman Lindsey Boyd blasted a grand slam in game one. It was the first home run of the season for Cochran and second of the year for Boyd.
First-year pitcher Rachel Cue said offensively, the team showed up.
“The batters just kept fighting on both sides of the field,” she said. “We just didn’t show up defensively.”
The Coyotes won the opener 13-5 in five innings, while IUPUI took the nightcap 8-7.
Junior catcher Allie Daly said the lacking defense was unusual for their team.
“We had a lot of home runs,” she said. “That had the biggest effect on the scores of the games.”
Despite last weekend’s losses, Klyse said the team is remaining positive.
“Obviously, we can hit the ball, play defense and pitch well enough to win, but we’ve just got to combine all three,” Klyse said.
With that mentality, the women managed to improve their record to 25-17 after a doubleheader with Iowa State.
Klyse could not be reached for comment regarding the games against Iowa State.
Junior Matley Jones scored the first run of the game in the second inning and the two teams kept close in scoring until the eighth inning when the Coyotes failed to bring in any runs and the Cyclones added two. USD lost the first game 5-6.
The team remained scoreless until the fourth inning of the second game when three runs were brought in. USD kept the lead for the remainder of the game scoring in every remaining inning and only allowing Iowa State to score once.
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The game ended with a score of 12-3 and a win for the Coyotes.
Between the two games, USD brought in four home runs.
With the Summit League Championships right around the corner, Klyse said she’s not exactly sure where the Coyotes stand.
“It’s really hard to tell,” she said. “Anybody could still win.”
Klyse said the team’s experience on the field with captains and leadership at this level of competition is one of its strengths.
“Last year we went in with some nerves, but hopefully this year those nerves will be just pure adrennaline,” Klyse said.
The Coyotes will next travel to Brookings to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits for conference-play April 25-26.